The RMT Union has suspended strike action for tomorrow and Friday (11 – 12 August) to resume talks with Southern at ACAS.
However, the strike timetable will still be in force tomorrow, which will affect Airbourne.
Southern said, “We are encouraged that the RMT has accepted our offer to resume talks at ACAS and has agreed to call off its strike action. For our passengers’ sake we truly hope these talks will be productive and bring this long running dispute to an end.
“At present, the strike timetable is still in the industry train planning systems for Thursday and Friday. Regrettably, this means tomorrow’s service will be based upon the present strike timetable but we will do our very best to add services in and extend the hours of operation wherever possible. On Friday we plan to revert to the revised timetable operating before the strike. We will update our website as further information becomes available.”
Eastbourne’s MP Caroline Ansell has welcomed the suspension of industrial action saying, “I'm delighted the strike has been called off and I would like to thank the RMT for listening to my entreaties and to those of others.
“I will now be contacting the chief executive of Southern to ensure that services into Eastbourne are programmed as a priority so that as many visitors can get into the town by rail for Airbourne, the biggest event in our calendar.
“Of course, this doesn't mean the dispute is over, but it is a positive move by the union.”
The long-running dispute between Southern’s parent company Govia Thameslink Railway and the RMT Union is over the introduction of driver-only trains, which is due to come into force in 11 days’ time. The Union fears it will put passengers’ safety in jeopardy, something GTR strongly denies.