SOUTH Western Railway has revealed that its services will be reduced by up to 50 per cent during the forthcoming four-day RMT strike over on-train staffing and the future role of guards.
The strikes will start on Friday morning, and continue until Monday night. The company says ‘almost 60 per cent’ of the usual timetables will be covered on Friday and Monday, coming down to about 50 per cent over the weekend, and that it ‘will do everything possible’ to keep passengers moving.
The RMT has accused SWR of delaying tactics.
The union’s general secretary Mick Cash said: ‘Our members have been left with no choice but to go ahead with a further four days of strike action on South Western Railway from Friday. They are angry and frustrated that 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.’
SWR said: ‘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.
‘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. We will also look for opportunities to introduce extra services each day.’