HUNDREDS of East Midlands Train drivers have walked out on the first of six strikes planned in May.
Drivers’ union Aslef said it was staging the one-day strikes over the firm’s plans to reduce pension contributions for workers from July.
The company said the change would not affect pension benefits but the union said the calculations were unreliable.
Action is also due to take place on 3, 8, 10, 15 and 17 May. It is likely to disrupt services.
East Midlands Trains has pledged to run as many services as possible, however a reduced service will be in place with replacement bus services in operation on many routes.
- A reduced hourly train service from Derby to London will run for the majority of the day on 1 and 3 May. These services will call at all stations, with a limited number of services extended through to Sheffield. Breakfast will only be served on the 06.27 and 07.27 services from Sheffield to London.
- An hourly train service will run from Nottingham to Leicester to connect in with services through to London.
- A train shuttle service will run from Nottingham to Grantham.
- Rail replacement road services will also be provided on a number of routes including Nottingham to Lincoln, Nottingham to Mansfield Woodhouse, Derby to Matlock, Derby to Stoke-on-Trent, Nottingham to Boston, Nottingham to Sleaford and Lincoln to Sleaford.
Other train operators will be accepting East Midlands Trains tickets and a full list of alternative routes can be found at www.eastmidlandstrains.co.uk. In addition, East Midlands Trains tickets will be accepted on a number of Stagecoach Bus services, including Corby to Kettering (X4 service), Lincoln to Grimsby (Interconnect 3), Boston to Skegness (Interconnect 7), Skegness to Lincoln (Interconnect 6) and Spalding to Peterborough (Service 37).
The train operator has also issued advice for passengers already holding a ticket to travel on one of the days affected by the industrial action.
A spokesman said: “Passengers with advance tickets pre-booked for a service which will not be running can use their ticket to travel on an alternative train or bus service provided by East Midlands Trains. This should be as closed as possible to the original time booked.
“Alternatively, passengers who hold a ticket for travel on one of the affected days can travel on East Midlands Trains services the day before or the day after their existing ticket is valid.
“Customers who decide not to travel can receive a full refund on their ticket.”