RAILWAY workers who joined the biggest strike for the last 30 years have been blasted as “selfish” by commuters, but others have said they are “on their side.”

Greater Anglia services across north Essex were disrupted today as members of the National Union of Rail, Martime and Transport Workers downed tools.

The day of action, which rippled throughout the country, was staged in protest of wages, compulsory redundancies, working conditions and job security.

Making their voices heard, picket lines of banner-wielding activists gathered at the two entrances to Colchester North Station.

The Gazette did attempt to speak to the union's members but they instead asked us to direct any questions to the union's press office.

Braintree and Witham Times:

As result of the strike, no trains departed from stations such as Marks Tey, Braintree, Witham, Harwich, Manningtree, and Clacton or Colchester Town.

Some travellers were still able to make use of Colchester North Station, although only two trains were in operation each hour.

The eerily-empty platforms, however, suggested many had opted to use alternative transport methods or had decided to work from home.

LIVE BLOG: All the latest updates as rail workers strike

David McGeown, from Colchester, gets the train from North Station to Manningtree, before cycling to Holbrook for work on a daily basis.

He said: “I do not support the strike or what they are doing or the motivation behind it and I do not agree with it.

“I think it is a very selfish thing for people to do considering how much it has impacted on everybody else.

Braintree and Witham Times:

“For me, I am just going to work and I can afford to miss a day but fortunately my work place has organised transport for me.

“So, for me it is not the end of the world but it is for a lot of other people and I think there is a lot of other people who deserve more help.

“I think the money these guys are demanding could be put to better use – they have at least got jobs.

“I know it is tough, but there are so many people out there who need and deserve more help and I think this demand is selfish.”

Small business owner Jack Titchard has run the Roo coffee shop at Colchester North Station for the last three months.

He said: “A lot of these people striking have been lifetime employees and have been paying into their pensions for 40 years.

“Everyone is panicking because of the cost of living crisis and I completely get that and sympathise with that.

Braintree and Witham Times:

“Ultimately I do side with those who work on the frontline here because they help everything run smoothly.

“But, for me, as a small business owner, selfishly, it has been shocking and today I have sold two coffees and it has really affected me but it is what it is.

“On a positive side it has given me a chance to tidy up and catch up with some admin and you have to take the rough with the smooth – but it is going to be tough.”