Spalding Rail Station to be without train services for the next three Saturdays after strike action by RMT union
There will be no train services in or out of Spalding for the next three Saturdays due to strike action by rail staff.
East Midlands Trains (EMT), operator of the main rail service in Spalding that connects the town with Lincoln, Peterborough and Sleaford, has announced that coaches will be in use on the route instead.
The strike has been called by the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) who accused EMT's parent company Stagecoach of "cutting and running before they are dumped from the rail network".
Stagecoach is due to hand over its East Midlands rail franchise to the Dutch Government-owned Abellio group on August 18 after the Government banned EMT from bidding to keep the route.
Since then, a row between Stagecoach and the RMT has broken out over what the union called "pay discrimination and contract issues", including pension rights.
RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: "EMT's lack of commitment to dealing with our concerns over contractual issues, such as compulsory Sunday working, wage discrimination and other matters, is a total disgrace.
"This has been reinforced by its ludicrous refusal to sit down and talk with us as Stagecoach slashes and burns its way through its remaining franchises, in advance of being banned by the Department for Transport.
"As a result of this cavalier approach, RMT strike action will go ahead as planned from this weekend in order to force EMT and Stagecoach to take the issues seriously and start acting responsibly."
The union has told all senior conductors to strike for 24 hours from midnight tonight until midnight tomorrow (Saturday), repeating their industrial action on the following two Saturdays, July 27 and August 3.
Other routes to be affected include Lincoln to Grimsby/Cleethorpes, Derby to Matlock, Nottingham and Newark Castle, Nottingham to Norwich and Newark Northgate to Lincoln.
However, services to and from London St Pancras and between Derby, Stoke on Trent and Crewe will run as normal.
Adam Piddington, EMT's customer experience director, said: "We are disappointed that the RMT is intent on going ahead with this strike action, especially as it has raised issues about contracts which have been in place for six years and which were introduced with their full agreement.
"However, we are pleased to still be able to run a good service for our customers on the three dates involved.
"Our timetables are now available at eastmidlandstrains.co.uk for customers to check ahead and plan their journeys."