Thursday, August 24, 2017
New wave of strike action brings Southern trains to standstill

New wave of strike action brings Southern trains to standstill

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Southern passengers have revealed their distress at delays and cancellations

Suffering Southern Rail commuters are enduring another day of travel misery as drivers stage another walkout.

Commuters were told to stay at home and travel only if it was essential as the network ground to a standstill on Monday evening (January 9).

No trains are running today or on Wednesday and Friday, with the operator organising special bus services to shuttle passengers to nearby stations.

It is part of the latest wave of industrial action by the ASLEF union, which represents almost 1,000 Southern drivers.

They are walking out in a row over Southern’s plans to remove guards from its trains, which they claim is unsafe, because the drivers will then be responsible for closing the doors.

Hundreds of commuters at East Croydon station in south London were forced to queue for Thameslink trains this morning – the only services running from the busy commuter hub.

Personal assistant Lucy Drury, 35, travels daily from the station to London Bridge, and on strike days, her journey time is often doubled.

She said: “It’s frustrating and exhausting. Normally I have a frequent choice of Southern trains to get me to London Bridge.

“But on strike days, not only am I queuing just to get into the station, I’m having to take a Thameslink service – which takes twice as long – into London Blackfriars and then make my way to work from there, which again takes twice as long.

“My normal door-to-door commute time is usually an hour and 15 minutes, but on strike days it can be two-and-a-half hours. Words fail me at how ridiculous this has become.”

Transport for London said the tram network was also subject to delays due to “high passenger volume” caused by the strike.

Angry commuters took to social media to blast both unions and Southern Rail, with extended journey times and cancelled services forcing many to take days off work.

Amy Teasdale tweeted: “Getting to work is taking three times longer and costing nearly four times the amount of a return, just for the outward by taxi. Absolute joke.”

The strike comes after London Underground workers walked out in a row over ticket office closures, bringing most of London to a standstill on Monday.

ASLEF members are due to strike again on January 24, 25 and 27.

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New wave of strike action brings Southern trains to standstill