Page last updated at 07:58 GMT, Wednesday, 29 July 2009 08:58 UK

Rail users face strike disruption

A National Express-operated East Coast line train
RMT and Aslef workers plan to have three strikes

Rail passengers were warned to expect disruption as staff providing services through Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex prepare to strike.

Hourly services will operate on the Stansted Express route and from Southend and Colchester to London.

Limited services at peak times only are planned between Norwich and London.

Rail firm National Express East Anglia said the strike action by Rail Maritime and Transport (RMT) and Aslef members is "unrealistic and unnecessary".

The company said it still hoped for an agreement with the two unions.

RMT and Aslef workers begin the first of three planned strikes on Thursday.

The 48-hour action is part of a dispute over pay and conditions.

RMT leader Bob Crow said earlier: "RMT members are not prepared to be the victims of the National Express franchise chaos and they are determined to fight for a decent pay rise and for decent working conditions.

Alternative routes

"This company has made half a billion in profits out of our members over the past decade, it's a scandal that they are offering their staff peanuts in return."

National Express said it had taken part in "lengthy negotiations" and had offered the unions a salary increase above the rate of inflation.

If strike action does take place, passengers were advised to consider alternative routes.

In Essex, passengers were advised to use c2c services from Southend to London.

From parts of Norfolk, passengers can use a combination of East Midlands Trains and First Capital Connect services from Norwich to Ely then on to London.

From parts of Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire, passengers can use First Capital Connect services from Kings Lynn and Cambridge to London.

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