Warnings of severe disruption on Saturday as rail drivers plan to strike

Greater Anglia is urging passengers to only travel on Saturday if absolutely necessary because of a planned strike by train drivers.

The company said more than 90% of its trains would not run if the industrial action went ahead.

The train drivers union, ASLEF, said the industrial action was a last resort because its members had not had a pay rise since 2019.

Mick Whelan, ASLEF general secretary, said: "The train companies are doing very well out of Britain’s railways – with handsome profits, dividends for shareholders, and big salaries for managers – and train drivers are not going to work longer for less."

Nigel Gibson, lead officer at Greater Anglia, said: "We want a pay rise, for the train drivers who kept people and goods moving during the pandemic, in line with the cost of living, so that we are not, in real terms, worse off."

Saturday's train drivers strike follows last week's strikes by RMT union members at Network Rail and 13 train operators, which caused disruption to about 80% of Britain's railways.

Greater Anglia said it was aware that people's plans would be disrupted by the proposed industrial action but it would only be able to run a very reduced service, "and only on some routes."

The company's message was "please only travel if it’s absolutely necessary" and for passengers to make alternative arrangements if possible.

Jamie Burles, Greater Anglia managing director, said: "Work is continuing at an industry level to try to resolve the dispute as soon as possible. We are very sorry for the disruption this strike causes our customers."

The company said that services would be dramatically reduced across its with no trains between Cambridge North, Cambridge and London Liverpool Street.

However, Great Northern would run its usual Saturday services between Cambridge and London Kings Cross.

The Norwich-London Liverpool Street Intercity service would be limited to just six trains in each direction across the whole day, with the last train back to Norwich likely to be at 9.30pm.

The Colchester-London Liverpool Street and Stansted Express services would also have reduced hours and significantly fewer trains, with a later start and earlier finish times than normal.

There would be no trains after 10.30pm to Colchester and 9.42pm for Stansted Airport.

Trains between Southend Victoria and London Liverpool Street would run across the usual operating hours, but with far fewer trains than normal.

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