Essex rail passengers face severe delays today due to strike by ASLEF members at Greater Anglia and c2c

A stock image of a Greater Anglia train
Greater Anglia services will be affected by a planned strike -Credit:Greater Anglia

Rail services on some of the busiest commuter routes in the country will be at a standstill this week because of a fresh strike by drivers starting on Tuesday (May 7). Members of the ASLEF union will walk out from operators including Greater Anglia and c2c.

Passengers have been urged to check their journeys before travelling by train as services will be cancelled or reduced. The dispute is now the longest ever in the rail industry after nearly two years.

There will no service at all on c2c lines on Tuesday, with a reduced service for the rest of the week. During the action short of a strike from Wednesday to Saturday (May 11), a normal timetable will be in place for Greater Anglia routes, with most services operating on all routes, but with some planned cancellations.

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No formal talks between the operators and the union have been held for a year and for longer involving a transport minister. Business groups have warned of the impact on the economy of the strikes, especially for hospitality firms.

Muniya Barua, deputy chief executive at BusinessLDN, said: "yet another round of industrial action across the rail network will cause disruption for businesses and commuters up and down the country. Amid weak economic growth, and as we head into a summer trading period which is crucial for retail, leisure and hospitality firms, we urge all parties to work together to resolve these long-running talks and keep the city moving. The impact of these walkouts will be felt even more acutely by many owing to a shorter working week."

Greater Anglia customers are advised to check before they travel
Greater Anglia customers are advised to check before they travel -Credit:Greater Anglia

ASLEF said its members have not had a pay rise for five years. The union has accused the Government of 'giving up' trying to resolve the dispute.

A spokesman for the Rail Delivery Group said: "The rail industry is working hard to keep trains running but it is likely that services on some lines will be affected on the evening before and morning after each strike between May 7 and May 9 because many trains will not be in the right depots to start services the following day. We can only apologise to our customers for this wholly unnecessary strike action called by the Aslef leadership which will sadly disrupt journeys once again.

"It will also inflict further damage on an industry that is receiving up to an additional £54 million a week in taxpayer cash to keep services running, following the Covid downturn."

A Department for Transport spokesperson said: "The Transport Secretary and rail minister have already facilitated a pay offer that would take train drivers' average salaries up to £65,000 – almost twice the UK average salary. Aslef are the only union left striking after the Government oversaw deals with all the other unions.

"Instead of causing passengers disruption, they should put this offer to their members and work with industry to end this dispute."

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