Southern Rail Dispute Set to Continue Next Month

With RMT union planning five day strike from August 8

The long running industrial dispute which has caused cancellations and delays on Southern Rail services will continue next month with the RMT union planning a five day strike from August 8.

The dispute is over the introduction by the service of driver operated doors on trains, which guards say is putting passengers at risk.

This week the war of words between rail bosses and the union continued with the RMT saying it had offered to put action by guards on hold for three months if the company agreed to suspend its proposals for driver-operated doors and allow talks to take place, but claims the offer was rejected.

In return, Govia Thameslink Railway, the parent company of Southern, chief operating officer Dyan Crowther said the RMT was refusing to accept necessary change.

He added: "We are offering all our onboard staff a job, as valued members of our future operation, with no reduction in salary.

"We value the work of our staff, who are trying their best to deliver service levels that passengers expect.

"The sooner we can introduce the essential modernisation that our railways desperately need, the sooner we can stop the RMT from holding passengers to ransom.

"Contrary to the RMT's accusation, we have always been open to talks and remain so."

The five day walkout is set to cause further misery for passengers, but will not cause any further effect for those travelling on the local Southern service through Hammersmith and Fulham

A new temporary revised weekly timetable introduced this month by Southern meant that there service through Shepherd's Bush, Olympia, West Brompton and Imperial Wharf has been completely withdrawn.

This service, running between Milton Keynes Central and East Croydon, normally runs three or four trains in each direction during rush hours and one per hour at other times alongside the regular London Overground service between Clapham Junction and Willesden Junction.

This means both the Overground service and local stations are currently busier than normal.

The withdrawal of this service is part of an 'emergency' timetable introduced across Southern's services after weeks of delays and cancellations due to strikes and staff shortages.

The continuing misery for commuters has led Mayor of london Sadiq Khan to call on the Government to strip Southern of its franchise and take over the temporary responsibility of running its services.

On its website, Southern says the amended timetable will run 'until further notice' and advises customers: " In order to give you more certainty for your journey and enable you to better plan, we have implemented an amended timetable on Mondays to Fridays that we will be able to operate more reliably.

" You will be able to claim compensation against trains cancelled in advance or against delays experienced on the day. For full timetables and to claim compensation, visit our revised timetable page. "

You can find the revised timetable and advice on claiming compensation here. TfL offers advice about using other transport services and alternative ticketing arrangements here.

July 29, 2016