Warning that St Albans rail travellers may face Friday night disruption

PUBLISHED: 15:22 30 October 2009 | UPDATED: 14:36 06 May 2010

REVELLERS enjoying a Friday night out in London may find themselves going home by bus instead of train due to a pay dispute. Sandy Walkington, the Liberal Democrat candidate for St Albans, flagged up the problem and warned it may escalate next week. Becau

REVELLERS enjoying a Friday night out in London may find themselves going home by bus instead of train due to a pay dispute.

Sandy Walkington, the Liberal Democrat candidate for St Albans, flagged up the problem and warned it may escalate next week.

Because of the refusal of drivers at the Bedford depot to work on their rest days, northbound trains today (Friday) are likely to be replaced by buses after 11 pm - on what is a major night out for many London commuters.

"It's not just a much longer journey, there must be real questions as to whether they can physically move all the passengers affected," said Sandy.

"And from reading the stream of comments from drivers on the RailUK Thameslink web forum, it seems as though drivers from the Brighton and Blackfriars depots will be refusing to work on their rest days next week, so that it looks like more days of misery for St Albans commuters.

"Clearly there is a dispute over pay, and the drivers are leveraging the fact that FCC don't employ enough of them and so depend on their working on their rest days - which of course is voluntary.

"But it's the poor bloody infantry of the St Albans rail commuter who is left picking up the pieces. It's just not good enough. Both sides must settle their differences as soon as possible," Sandy concluded.

An FCC spokesperson said: "We apologise for the inconvenience caused by these changes. For up-to-the-minute information we advise you to check our live train updates before travelling.

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