Strike action by the RMT and Aslef unions means Southern are not running any trains in or out of Eastbourne today (13 December).
Guards and train drivers have walked out for two days in the on-going dispute over the introduction of driver only trains. They fear for passenger safety, saying removing the safety-critical role of conductors, will be detrimental, both in day-to-day caring for passengers and in the case of an emergency. However, Southern firmly deny there would be any compromise in passenger safety with the introduction of driver-only trains.
The industrial action will see no trains running across the Southern network and a reduced service on the Gatwick Express and Thameslink Services.
Yesterday (12 December), Southern’s parent company, Govia Thameslink Rail, appealed the High Court decision to allow Aslef’s strike to go ahead, but the ruling wasn’t overruled. Responding to the decision, Charles Horton, Chief Executive of Govia Thameslink Railway, said, "Naturally we are disappointed with this decision. We had a responsibility to the travelling public to do what we could to stop this unprecedented strike action.
"Regrettably, there will be no train services for passengers today, tomorrow and Friday. We strongly advise people not to travel. In addition, there will be severe disruption every day during the ongoing industrial action because of the union's overtime ban.
"This is wholly unjustified and unnecessary industrial action. The widespread use of drivers operating trains is perfectly safe both in Southern and elsewhere in the UK where a third of trains operate this way every day.
"We will now be asking ACAS to convene urgent and immediate talks between GTR and ASLEF; talks that we hoped to get moving over the weekend, but ASLEF would not agree. Our aim is to find a resolution to their dispute so we can bring an end to the misery being suffered by the travelling public."