Page last updated at 11:28 GMT, Monday, 11 January 2010

Virgin Trains staff plan West Coast Main Line strike

A Virgin train
The plans follow action earlier this month

Ticket office workers on the West Coast Main Line plan to stage three rush-hour strikes in a row over cutbacks.

About 200 Virgin Trains booking office staff at more than 12 stations will walk out for the three-hour strikes.

They are planned from 1600 GMT this Friday, 0500 GMT on Monday, 25 January, and 1600 GMT on Friday, 5 February.

The Transport Salaried Staffs Association action will hit stations including London Euston, Coventry, Stafford, Crewe, Penrith and Glasgow.

'Vital service'

The workers held a 24-hour strike last Monday in protest at the planned introduction of new ticket machines in booking offices.

They say it will lead to more booking windows being closed and passengers forced to use more expensive station machines.

Union general secretary Gerry Doherty has called for talks with Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson to end the dispute and said he did not want to inconvenience passengers on an "expensive" route.

He said: "We are striking to defend a vital service to passengers."

Virgin Trains said the previous walk-out had not affected services, adding that changes to ticket offices were designed to improve services for passengers.

The West Coast Main Line is a key route linking London with cities like Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool and Glasgow.

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