WORKERS on Greater Anglia are to stage a fresh strike in the long-running dispute over the role of train guards, on the day of the 2,000 Guineas horse race at Newmarket.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) will walk out on May 5, followed by a period of refusing to work extra Sundays beyond their agreed rosters.

RMT leaders said they had received the company's "best and final" proposals, which the union described as "unacceptable".

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: "The vital safety role of guards is still under threat and the extension of driver only operation remains a serious risk."

In a message to members, Mr Cash said: "Greater Anglia remains adamant that the role of the guard will have no involvement in the releasing or closing of train doors.

"The proposal stipulates that 'train drivers will operate the train doors and undertake train dispatch in normal circumstances'.

"Your union reps are of the view that the company cannot be trusted to preserve a safety critically trained employee, let alone a guard on every train."

The union is embroiled in similar disputes with South Western Railway, Southern, Merseyrail and Arriva Rail North.

Greater Anglia bosses have said conductors work on 40 per cent of its services.

The remaining services, mainly commuter trains to London Liverpool Street from Essex, Cambridge, Hertfordshire and Suffolk, do not have conductors.

A statement added: "We will continue to run a full service during any proposed strike action using stand-in conductors.

"Our stand-in conductors have been trained to the same standards as our usual conductors for the routes that they operate."