Southern Rail dispute – more train strikes?

By Gemma Rootes

Southern Rail staff are to strike again on Wednesday and Thursday this week after 18 months of disruption.

The RMT union have announced that they are to strike on Wednesday 8th November and Thursday 9th November over the role of guards on the trains. Southern want to have driver-only trains and remove the guards, but the RMT union say that this is unsafe.

The rail company have claimed that most services will run normally. But there will be some alternations with some peak time hour services between Hastings and Ashford International not running. There will also be some cancellations at Eastbourne and Brighton.  

Services that are affected:
  • A reduced service will operate between Ashford International, Rye and Hastings.
  • A reduced service will operate on trains to and from Littlehampton and Eastbourne.
  • 07:45 Littlehampton to Brighton and the 21:53 Littlehampton to Brighton.

 

Angie Doll, Southern’s Passenger Services Director, said:

It’s business as usual on most of our routes during the RMT strikes. A small number of routes have reduced services, and we expect some trains and stations to be busier than normal. Full details of service changes can be found at www.southernrailway.com/dispute and we advise passengers to check before they travel for updates on the day.

The commuters have been the worst effected with cancelled or delayed trains. Over the past 18 months there has been more than 30 days of strike action with more announced to take place for 48 hours this week.

Chloe Pont, 18, a student from Westfield said:

The reasons why they are striking is understandable because the driver is the only staff member. With only a driver hazards will appear more on trains because there will be less staff members to stop or look out for them and many people will lose their jobs. However, by striking they are disrupting commuters and if they are trying to get to work, they will be losing money if they are unable to get to work of if they are late

Rob Maurice, 18, a shop assistant from Hastings commented saying:

I’ll agree with it because of how much I disagree with southern rain and there “money over safety” policy leaving no guards for the trains to help reassure people.

Kevin on Twitter commented by saying:

yeah well yesterday and today 2 days in a row my train cancelled. U sure u haven’t started the strike early in error?

Customers are used to there being delays and cancellations every day that they treat strikes as a normal day. But it is still effecting people’s lives with people being late home so they will not be able to spend time with their families before starting the whole process again the next morning.

You are making people’s lives a misery, not just those who have the misfortune to have to travel on your trains but also their families who have no idea when their loved ones will be home – Said Jack Crossley on Facebook.

Southern rail commuters are hoping for an end to this long running dispute but in the back of their minds they know that this is not going to happen anytime soon.

For further information, please go to the Southern Rail website southernrail.com or nationalrail.co.uk.

Keep checking back on OvertimeOnline.co.uk for updates and follow up stories.

Edited by Mollie Quirk

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