1. ITV Report

New threat of strikes over 'bullet trains' in London

Britain's biggest transport union is threatening a new wave of strikes over the introduction of "bullet trains" on key routes from London.

Credit: PA

The RMT is demanding assurances about guards and buffet cars when the new trains start running from Paddington and Kings Cross.

Credit: ITV News

The union claims the Japanese-built Hitachi trains are capable of being operated without guards.

The RMT also believes train companies are planning to replace buffet cars with more seats.

It defies belief that anyone in their right mind would seriously consider running these inter-city services on a driver-only basis, but the design of the fleet allows for just that in terms of the control panels.

It is sheer profiteering to strip out the buffet cars and replace them with trolleys. Not only does that undermine the service to passengers but it also denies staff their one place of refuge and rest on these long-range routes.

RMT is also deeply concerned about the future of the fleet maintenance, which is once again plunged into uncertainty with our members jobs and futures left in the balance.

RMT is demanding answers and assurances from both the Government and the train companies. If those assurances aren't forthcoming we will move into dispute and begin preparations for ballots.

– Mick Cash, RMT