Southern has said that none of their services will operate across the network when drivers go out on strike next week.
In the on-going row over the introduction of driver only trains, drivers will take action on Tuesday (10 January), Wednesday (11 January) and Friday (13 January. The union ASLEF says this is down to safety reasons, saying the abolishment of the conductor in favour of an on-board supervisor, will put passengers at risk. Southern deny this is the case.
During the industrial action, Southern say they are organising buses or coaches to provide road links to enable commuters to catch services run by other operators, with buses between Eastbourne and Hastings announced. Anyone needing to get to Brighton during the walkout, is being told Brighton and Hove Buses will be accepting Southern tickets during the strike action.
Angie Doll, Southern's Passenger Service Director, said, "There will be significant disruption and hardship next week caused by these pointless and unnecessary strikes. With this package of measures, we are putting in place a very limited number of alternative options to help people with essential travel needs get where they need to be. Unfortunately, there is no practical way we could replace 2,000-plus trains we run each day with buses, but what we are doing is providing transport to link some passengers into other operators' stations where services are running normally.
"These buses will run from a small number of stations and space will be very limited, so we are asking those who don't need to travel, or who have a viable alternative, to leave the space for those who have no other option. Anyone who does travel should expect to queue, plan for longer journeys and realise the service they join will be exceptionally busy.
"We are massively grateful to all the operators who are helping us in our efforts to keep passengers moving. This strike is futile – drivers are now operating the doors on over 75% of our trains and our on-board supervisors have moved into their new roles. It is now time the union move on too, and join us in delivering a modern railway for everyone."
ASLEF have said they remain open to negotiations and insist their action is purely for the future safety of passengers using the trains.