1. ITV Report

Union writing to Greater Anglia in bid to prevent rail strikes

The RMT union fears Greater Anglia will get rid of guards on trains. Credit: ITV News Anglia.

Greater Anglia is being urged to hold fresh talks with rail unions in a bid to prevent threatened industrial action.

The Rail, Maritime and Transport union has written to a number of operators warning of a "crisis" in the industry over the scaling back of renewal works and jobs.

The union is preparing to ballot members at Greater Anglia - which runs services in Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire - over fears driver-only trains could be introduced.

It is also embroiled in disputes at Northern, Southern and Merseyrail, which have already led to a series of strikes.

The RMT met Transport Secretary Chris Grayling last week to discuss the disputes.

"While the Secretary of State had suggested the meeting to discuss the dispute on Southern, the union also took the opportunity to raise the other driver-only disputes, or potential disputes, such as on Northern, Greater Anglia, South West Trains and Merseyrail.

"The Secretary of State claimed he was not sitting on companies telling them what to do and we are therefore writing to all of the relevant companies seeking urgent discussions."

– Mick Cash, General Secretary, RMT

Greater Anglia insists it has no plans to scrap conductors on its intercity trains and rural routes - insisting they are "highly valued colleagues".

But the RMT says the operators Dutch owner, Abellio, will not guarantee a second qualified person on every train.