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Saturday, 24 February

Babylon By Bus - Over 60% Of Strike Hit Rail Services To Run...Many By Bus

South Western Railway has announced that it will run more than 60% of its normal train services on the two days that the RMT union has instructed its Guards members to go on strike.

This represents two thirds of SWR's normal train service on these dates

The strike will affect services on Wednesday 8 and Thursday 9 November but contingency plans are in place to run as many services as possible. There will also be rail replacement bus services on some routes to help passengers.

Andy Mellors, MD for South Western Railway, said: “We plan to run around two thirds of our regular timetabled services which will deliver around 70% of the seats we normally provide across the morning and evening peak hours in to London.

“However, we are sorry that many of our passengers will find trains much busier than normal and that, in some places, replacement bus services will run instead of trains on the strike date called by the RMT.

“This strike is unnecessary. We have repeatedly assured the RMT that we plan to keep two safety-trained employees on our trains. This is because we know that a second member of staff provides assurance to our passengers and ensures we have capable colleagues on board to deliver assistance or offer advice during journeys.

“No one will lose their job. We have been very clear that we are guaranteeing the jobs, salaries and terms and conditions of Guards. In fact, as we expand our fleet, we will be hiring more Drivers and Guards to help deliver more and better services for passengers.”


Bus services

A rail replacement bus service will be in operation the following routes:

Yeovil Junction – Exeter St. Davids

Salisbury – Eastleigh via Chandler’s Ford (Great Western Railway run services will run from Southampton to Salisbury via Romsey)

Virginia Water – Weybridge (via Chertsey)

Ascot – Guildford (via Camberley and Aldershot). No trains in service on this specific route. Check and for other routes to / from London

Poole – Weymouth

Shanklin – Ryde Pier Head


Previous reporting

Rail Union RMT has confirmed strike action in November in separate disputes with train operating companies across the UK over the proposed move to Driver Only Operation.

RMT Members on Southern, Greater Anglia, South Western Railways and Island Line have been instructed to take action as follows:

Not to book on for any shifts between 00.01 hours on Wednesday 8th November and 23.59 hours on Thursday 9th November.

Members on Northern and Merseyrail have been instructed to take action as follows:

Not to book on for any shifts between 00.01 hours and 23.59 hours On Wednesday 8th November.

RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said: “It is ludicrous that we have been able to negotiate long-term arrangements in Scotland and Wales but we are being denied the same opportunities with rail companies in England. The RMT is demanding that the Government lift the central blockade on talks, allow us to negotiate freely with their contractors."


South Western Railway responds

Following the announcement of strike dates in November by the RMT union, a South Western Railway spokesperson said: "We are extremely disappointed that the RMT has announced dates for this unnecessary and disruptive strike rather than working with us to find a solution to their problem. No-one wants this, least of all our passengers and staff who will be the ones to suffer.

"We would like to assure our customers that should this strike go ahead, we have contingency plans in place and we will do everything we can to minimise disruption to their journeys.

"This action is both premature and unnecessary. We have not yet made a decision on how best to operate our new fleet of trains – trains that are not due to be in service for two years."


Southern Rail – Aslef ballot

Responding to the announcement that Southern rail drivers are to be balloted on a proposed deal, David Sidebottom, passenger director at Transport Focus, said: “Southern passengers will be encouraged that new proposals will be put to Aslef members. It is vital that all parties involved with disputes on Greater Anglia, Merseyrail, Northern and Southern networks sit around the table to bring the services back to normal as soon as possible.”

For illustation purposes only - commuters affected by rail strikes will be offered a replaement service by bus. And here's something for the journey


Article written by TWinFM Reporter


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