Commuters hit by striking drivers

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Matlock rail commuters were among those being forced to make alternative travel arrangements this week after they were caught up in a strike by East Midlands Trains drivers.

Bosses at the train company pledged to continue running services for passengers despite the strike action by the ASLEF drivers union refusing to accept new pension arrangements.

However, passengers travelling from Matlock to Derby have been offered a bus replacement service today (Thursday).

The first one day strike was on Tuesday and a spokesman for East Midlands Trains said they delivered a good service despite the industrial action. They had 100 trains operating and more than 200 replacement buses.

Andy Botham from ASLEF said that the strike had 100 per cent turnout from members.

Drivers have also “overwhelmingly” voted in favour of taking strike action on May 8, 10, 15 and May 17.

A reduced service was also in operation for passengers travelling on from Derby to London, although rail chiefs said an hourly service would be running on the “majority” of strike days.

David Horne, managing director for East Midlands Trains, said: “Despite this action being called, we are still determined to run a good train service for our passengers.

“We are surprised that our train drivers are planning to take industrial action over this matter.”

Mr Horne said the company’s proposals to reduce pension contributions will save drivers around £500 a year and have “no impact” on their pension benefits.

However, ASLEF general secretary Mick Whelan said the claims were “highly misleading”.

“It is disingenuous to suggest our members are getting something for nothing, To cut pension contributions in the current climate is highly irresponsible.”

n Have you been affected by the strike? Are you one of the striking drivers?

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