4 day strike action to begin on South Western trains

4 day strike action to begin on South Western trains

Published by Spire FM News at 3:45pm 29th August 2019. (Updated at 9:28am 30th August 2019)

Salisbury train passengers face days of disruption as staff get ready to down tools as part of an ongoing dispute over train guards.

The strike which got underway at midnight (Thursday 29th August) will carry on until midnight on Monday 2nd September.

IMPACT ON SERVICES

It means there will be a reduced service on many routes in and out of Salisbury, with some services totally cancelled.

South Western Railway has said:

"During strike action, while services are likely be busier than usual, we will do everything we can to keep customers moving. 

We will be running just over half our normal timetabled service over the course of the four days and have rail replacement services and ticket acceptance in place on other transport providers wherever possible."

Salisbury train rail railway station - Sept 2016 (Mike Draper) (4)
Salisbury train station will be hit by the strikes

On Friday 30th, Saturday 31st August and Monday 2nd September:

  • Salisbury to London Waterloo route - a reduced service will run, with an hourly service between Salisbury and London Waterloo. 
  • Salisbury to Exeter St Davids - a reduced train service will run with trains starting later and finishing earlier than usual. 
  • Salisbury to Bristol Temple Meads - NO trains on this route for SWR but Great Western Railway will still be running.
  • Salisbury to Romsey via Southampton Central - NO SWR trains on this route.

Sunday 1st September:

  • Salisbury to London Waterloo route - a reduced service will run, with an hourly service between Salisbury and London Waterloo. 
  • Salisbury to Exeter St Davids - a reduced train service will run with one train every two hours. 
  • Salisbury to Bristol Temple Meads - NO trains on this route for SWR but Great Western Railway will still be running.
  • Salisbury to Romsey via Southampton Central - NO SWR trains on this route.

WHY ANOTHER STRIKE?

It's all to do with guards and their roles on trains. 

Although the rail union RMT and South Western Railway have already agreed in principle to keep a guard on every train, they're now stuck on how to move forward.

The RMT has gone so far as to say that SWR continues to 'drag its heels and delays talks over the safety critical role of the guard on the train.' 

General Secretary Mick Cash said:

"SWR have kicked talks into the long grass and failed to bolt down an agreement that will guarantee the role of the guard on the train. Our members believe that they are being mugged off by the company in protracted talks and I think they are right. 

"The company continues to refuse to give assurances on the future operational role of the guard fuelling fears amongst our members of a stitch up. 

"That situation has been compounded by an insistence that future operational models will be governed by the protection of company profits and not the safety of the travelling public."

A statement from SWR however says they do want to find a good outcome to the negotiations:

"The RMT has always said it wanted us to keep the guard on every train which is what we have offered as part of a framework agreement. 

We want to move the conversation on to how we operate our new trains and take advantage of the new technology on board to benefit our customers. We remain committed to finding a solution that will help us build a better railway for everyone."

For more information on the strike and changes to routes, go to the South Western Railway website.

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