The latest on Monday’s Southern rail strike

A demonstration by passengers at Brighton Station last year. Picture Eddie Mitchell
A demonstration by passengers at Brighton Station last year. Picture Eddie Mitchell
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Rail passengers face further disruption on Monday because of strike action.

The RMT union’s conductor strike will see Southern services reduced by up to 30 per cent, though some services which haven’t previously been running on strike days will resume.

The following routes - previously suspended on an RMT conductor strike day - will now operate on Monday, Southern said:

Eastbourne – Hastings

Chichester – Portsmouth and Southampton

Lewes – Haywards Heath

Coastway stations (including Bognor, Littlehampton, Eastbourne, Worthing and Hastings) will regain a direct service to London

Routes that previously finished early in the evening will also now run much later.

Planned strikes by the drivers’ union Aslef - which would have seen no services running on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday - have been suspended but the RMT strike is set to go ahead after its union bosses were excluded from talks.

Southern has called on the RMT to suspend the strike, saying that more than 70 per cent of its trains will run on Monday, with a full service returning from Tuesday.

Angie Doll, Southern’s passenger services director, said: “The RMT is continuing with industrial action that is now pointless. “Because of the changes we’ve now finished making we’re able to run 200 more services - a further 10 per cent increase than previous RMT strike days - on more routes serving more passengers.

“Sadly, our passengers once again face disruption because of the RMT’s intransigence and refusal to suspend action and engage in meaningful talks.

“We remain ready and willing to meet for face to face talks to end their dispute and move forward to deliver a better railway for passengers.”

The RMT dispute is over changes to the role of conductors, to give drivers control of opening and closing the doors - and Southern says that since the turn of the year drivers have been put in sole control of trains on nearly 80 per cent of its routes.

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said last week: “RMT demands again today that this union be given access to exactly the same talks process in our Southern Rail disputes as has been brokered for our sister union by the TUC.

“We would remind all parties that not only is RMT a recognised drivers union on Southern but that it is also our guards members who have made huge personal sacrifices in the long fight for passenger safety.

“The notion that some sort of deal can be done which leaves those Southern guards out in the cold is ludicrous.

“As a result of our exclusion from the talks process set up by the TUC and the Government both our guards and drivers action remains on next week and we demand and expect a positive response to our fresh demand for a seat at the negotiating table.”

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