Commuter chaos in the City as RMT takes industrial action over salaries

THOUSANDS of London commuters face travel chaos today and tomorrow, as workers on the National Express East Anglia franchise go on strike for 48 hours over pay.<br /><br />Services to Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex will be affected and the action will disrupt many lines in and out of London, including trains for Stansted Airport, Southend and Colchester.<br /><br />Operator National Express East Anglia said the strike by Rail and Maritime and Transport (RMT) and Aslef members would severely hit the London to Norwich line which carries around 2m commuters a week.<br /><br />Many of those hit will be in the City as Liverpool Street station will be affected.<br /><br />The RMT said it expected to completely shut down the East Anglia route. Three more 48-hour strikes are planned throughout August if negotiations fail to make any headway.<br /><br />National Express East Anglia said the action was unrealistic and unnecessary.<br /><br />&ldquo;We have offered salary increases above the rate of inflation, and remain available at any time for discussions to reach a sensible, affordable and fair agreement,&rdquo; said managing director Andrew Chivers.<br /><br />The RMT countered by saying that National Express was putting profits first, ahead of the travelling public and its workforce.<br /><br />The government recently said it will strip National Express of its East Coast Manline service because it cannot keep up with payments.