1. ITV Report

Drivers' strike to hit rail services

Train drivers from ASLEF on strike at Derby railway station Photo: ITV Central News

Rail services in the Midlands will be hit today because of a strike by hundreds of drivers in a dispute over pensions.

Members of the drivers union ASLEF at East Midlands Trains will walk out for 24 hours, and are planning further stoppages on Thursday and on May 8th, 10th, 15th and 17th.

The drivers are complaining that the Stagecoach-run company is proposing to reduce its contributions into the pension scheme despite the current "turbulent" economic climate.

David Horne, managing director of East Midlands Trains, said: "Pension contributions made by our employees will reduce from July this year. This is good news for our staff and will have no impact on their pension benefits. It follows recommendations from a recent pension valuation, which is an independent financial health check on the scheme.

"We cannot see how ASLEF's demands to continue with higher pension contributions- when they are not required- are in the best interests of their members. It really is good news for our people that the joint contributions are reducing for all of our employees, and for drivers this will save them around £500 a year.

"Despite this action being called, we are still determined to run a good train service for our passengers."

A reduced service will be in place tomorrow and again on Thursday, with replacement bus services in operation on many routes.

There will be a reduced hourly train service from Derby to London, an hourly service from Nottingham to Leicester to connect with trains to London, and a train shuttle service from Nottingham to Grantham.

There will be replacement buses on routes from Nottingham to Lincoln, Nottingham to Mansfield Woodhouse, Derby to Matlock, Derby to Stoke-on-Trent, Nottingham to Boston, Nottingham to Sleaford, and Lincoln to Sleaford.

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