Talks are due to take place today (3 August) between Govia Thameslink Rail and RMT Union conductors with ACAS to try and thwart a 5-day strike, planned for next week.
It if goes ahead, Union members at Eastbourne Railway Station will walk out on Monday (8 August) until Friday (12 August), which would also clash with Airbourne, one of the busiest times of the year in the town. The planned action is in an ongoing row over the introduction of driver-only trains, which are due to come into force later this month.
The RMT have until Thursday afternoon (4 August) to call off the industrial action if a strike timetable is to be avoided next week. Southern, which is run by GTR, has announced they expect to be able to run two thirds of their emergency timetable should the walk out take place and say there will be extra staff at stations to help passengers and arrangements in place for passengers to use alternative transport providers.
There will be a restricted service, with many routes having fewer trains, and, unfortunately, on some routes there will be no service at all. Trains on many routes will start late and finish early (0700/0730-1800). Passengers can find out details of how they may be affected so they can plan their journeys online.
Govia Thameslink Railway Passenger Service Director Angie Doll said, “We are sorry that our passengers once again look set to suffer further disruption because of the RMT. The union must call this action off by Thursday afternoon if we are to avoid having to put in Monday’s strike timetable.
“This action is not necessary. Our new on-board supervisors will no longer close the doors, a task that passes to the driver with the aid of CCTV. This will cost no-one their jobs, and frees up staff on board trains to better serve passengers.
“As many services will have staff on board as they do today and our on-board staff will have an improved role which better meets the needs of passengers, securing their valued position on the railway for the long-term.
“And there will be fewer train cancellations in future: currently, conductors are tied to specific routes and services, but the new on-board supervisor will be able to go anywhere on our network, significantly reducing the perennial problem of train cancellations due to conductors not being available when they’re delayed by disruption, for example.”