Rail strikes called off

STRIKE action which was set to cripple rail services across the region next week has been called off, it was announced today.

STRIKE action which was set to cripple rail services across the region next week has been called off, it was announced today.

Train drivers union Aslef planned to walk out for six days from Monday after turning down a pay deal from National Express East Anglia (NXEA).

However, both sides have finally reached an agreement to end the long-running dispute.

Mark Phillips, deputy managing director of National Express East Anglia, said: “As a result of these discussions, the on-going pay dispute is now resolved.


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“I am very pleased that we have now reached agreement with Aslef over this year's pay deal following constructive talks that have taken place with the union over recent days.

“This is excellent news for our customers who can plan their journeys with confidence and a full and scheduled train service will now operate as per the normal timetable.”

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The announcement came on the day Aslef started a campaign to permanently nationalise the East Coast Main Line, which National Express handed back to the government after huge losses.

The union has also called for the London to Norwich and Essex lines to be kept in public hands.

The franchise was taken away from National Express when the company made huge losses because of falling revenue and low passenger numbers.

The handover to the government officials who will run the franchise is expected in the next few weeks.

Delegates at the TUC's annual conference in Liverpool were due to vote today on calls to keep the line in public hands after the transfer takes place.

Aslef has also tabled a motion urging ministers to abandon plans to find another buyer next year and run it instead on a not-for-profit basis.

It also urges the government to ban the bus company from ever running a rail service again.

In addition the union wants to remove the firm's remaining train contracts.

These are the National Express East Anglia routes through Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk plus the C2C service between London and Essex.

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