Ahead of 28 days of strike action called by the RMT Union throughout December and into January, Andy Mellors, Managing Director of South Western Railway said:
“We promise that there will always be a guard on our trains. We also promise our guards will maintain a safety critical role on our trains.
“We believe that these promises deliver what the RMT has been asking for, so these strikes are unnecessary.
“All we’re asking is that guards work with us to provide the modern, efficient train service customers need and want by bringing in new trains which could mean over 10 million more passenger journeys arrive on-time in peak hours every year.
“Christmas is one of the busiest times of the year, and we know people will be worried about how they get to work, school and other commitments like Christmas parties.
“So we are working hard on detailed plans for the period of the strikes and we will do everything we can to keep customers moving.
“The prolonged nature of the strike means that we have to allocate our contingency guards to services over a longer period.
“We expect to be running more than half of our normal Monday – Friday services, prioritising capacity and providing a similar number of peak services to previous strikes.
“But we know that during the strike action, services will be busier than usual, and we will have rail replacement services in some places and we’re working to make sure our tickets are accepted by other transport providers wherever possible.
“Please check before you travel, and we will make sure the latest information is available on our website.”
Check before you travel: customers should check for the latest strike timetables and the details of replacement or alternative services, which will be updated regularly at: https://www.southwesternrailway.com/plan-my-journey/rmt-industrial-action