Two-day rail strike goes ahead

A 48-hour train strike by National Express East Anglia workers in Norwich starts today

Rail workers have gone on strike today after talks to avert industrial action on National Express East Anglia failed.

The latest 48-hour walkout began at midnight last night, and will affect services in Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex, as well as trains into London.

Booking clerks from the Transport Salaried Staff Association will join a further 48-hour stoppage next week.

Members of the Rail Maritime and Transport Union (RMT) and the train drivers' union Aslef staged a two-day stoppage last week in a row over pay.

Tens of thousands of commuters were affected by the action.

National Express East Anglia ran 100 trains during strike action on 30 and 31 July, instead of its usual 1,800 a day.

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National Express managers say the unions want a 2.5pc pay rise, a four-day working week and a 4pc increase in the number of train drivers.

RMT general secretary Bob Crow said the strike had been caused by National Express bosses keen to "milk every penny" from their franchise.

However, Andrew Chivers, managing director of National Express East Anglia, said: "The unions' demands are totally unrealistic, especially in this current economic climate.

"We have offered salary increases above the rate of inflation."