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Summary

  1. Updates on Thursday 22 September

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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  1. That's all for tonight

    Stuart Maisner

    BBC Live reporter

    That's all from our Southern Rail Strike special live page. Thanks for joining us.

    Sussex Live will return at 06:00 BST.  

    Remember you can get in touch on Twitter, on Facebook or send us an email.  

  2. 'The rail industry must modernise'

    Stuart Maisner

    BBC Live reporter

    Paul Plummer, chief executive of the Rail Delivery Group, which represents train operators and Network Rail, said: "More strikes will only cause more misery for thousands of passengers.

    "We know that there are no risks to jobs or pay, and drivers have been opening and closing train doors safely elsewhere on the railway for decades. 

    "The proposed changes would mean a better on-board service for customers and less disruption to services when problems occur. 

    "The rail industry must modernise to deliver the better service today's customers expect and deserve."

  3. 'Are they trying to kill our economy?'

    Stuart Maisner

    BBC Live reporter

    The RMT's Paul Cox blamed Conservative South East MPs for prolonging the dispute.

    This evening the South East's only Labour MP, Hove's Peter Kyle, tweeted his opposition to more strikes.   

    View more on twitter
  4. Dates of the strike action

    Five sets of strike dates have been announced by the RMT:

    • 00:01 BST Tuesday 11 October to 23:59 BST Thursday 13 October
    • 00:01 BST Tuesday 18 October to 23:59 BST Thursday 20 October
    • 00:01 BST Thursday 3 November to 23:59 BST Saturday 5 November
    • 00:01 BST Tuesday 22 November to 23:59 BST Wednesday 23 November
    • 00:01 BST Tuesday 6 December to 23:59 BST Thursday 8 December.
    Southern train
  5. 'They wanted to make life uncomfortable for politicians'

    Jon Hunt

    BBC South East Today reporter

    I was live at Three Bridges station this evening giving my analysis on today's announcement. 

    Video content

    Video caption: Southern Hunt
  6. 'This is militancy'

    Here's the view of Caroline Ansell, the MP for Eastbourne, on the Southern strikes.

    Video content

    Video caption: Caroline Ansell MP on Southern strike
  7. 'We have to get our message across'

    Here's the reaction from Paul Cox from the RMT union.

    Video content

    Video caption: Paul Cox from RMT union
  8. 'It's gone beyond a joke'

    We've been speaking to commuters at Three Bridges station about the RMT's strike announcement. 

    Video content

    Video caption: Southern voxes
  9. BreakingRail Minister: 'I urge the RMT to call this action off'

    Stuart Maisner

    BBC Live reporter

    Here's what the Rail Minister Paul Maynard has said about the RMT's strike announcement today.

    “Passengers want a railway that works for them and delivers the timely, modern and convenient service they expect.

    “It is unacceptable that the RMT is yet again disrupting passengers’ daily lives with unjustified strikes.

    "The travelling public must not be treated with such disdain by unions, and I urge the RMT to call this action off.”

    Southern train
  10. 'All they want is to be able to travel on trains which leave and arrive on time'

    Jack Fiehn

    Political reporter

    There seems to be no let-up in this increasingly bitter dispute and the announcement of new strikes will do nothing to improve relations between the two sides.

    The RMT has accused the company which runs Southern - Govia Thameslink - and the Government of having no interest in finding a resolution.

    Southern train

    But managers insist an offer has been on the table for weeks and say it is the union which is the problem.

    Having met commuters on strike days and at public meetings, I know that this news will be met with weary exasperation.

    Southern customer

    All they want is to be able to travel on trains which leave and arrive on time and which aren't overcrowded.

    There doesn't seem to be a chance of that happening any time soon.

  11. Fourteen more strike days before Christmas

    Stuart Maisner

    BBC Live reporter

    Here's a look at the headlines about this afternoon's announcement in the Southern dispute.

    Video content

    Video caption: 3in30 Southern
  12. 'The busiest line in the country with the worst track record'

    Richard Westcott

    Transport correspondent

    I've been looking at what the latest round of RMT union strikes on Southern means to commuters.

    Video content

    Video caption: Southern Westcott
  13. 'Strike coincides with the Lewes Bonfire'

    Darren Hilborn thinks the fact that one of the proposed strikes coincides with the Lewes Bonfire is a 'cynical act'.

    Thousands of people converge on the town for one of the UK's biggest bonfire events - and this year Bonfire Night falls on a Saturday night.  

    The RMT is proposing to strike from 00:01 BST on Thursday 3 November to 23:59 BST on Saturday 5 November.

    Lewes Bonfire
  14. Will the fine weather continue?

    Elizabeth Rizzini

    Weather presenter

    Here's my lunchtime forecast.  

    Video content

    Video caption: Weather 1330
  15. Southern strike: Company describes RMT announcement as 'shameful'

    Stuart Maisner

    BBC Live reporter

    Angie Doll, GTR’s Passenger Services Director, said: “The RMT’s desire to heap yet further travel misery on the public and affect the everyday lives of so many people is shameful.   

    “A comprehensive and fair offer has been on the table for weeks and the union leadership’s claims about jobs, pay, safety are trumped-up make believe. This scaremongering by the RMT union is a contrived attempt to gain public support when it knows its spurious arguments about jobs, pay, accessibility and safety have been demolished by independent experts and analysis and are falling on deaf ears.

    Southern train

    “As a responsible operator, our priority is to make our services more accessible, not less, and we will not be shaken in that commitment. 

    "We care deeply about those of our customers who are less mobile and help thousands of elderly and disabled customers week in, week out, to travel with us.

    "We will do everything we can to ensure those needing help getting on and off our trains receive our care and attention to get them where they want to be, promptly and hassle-free.

    Southern train

    “We’ve always said we are ready, willing and able to sit down and discuss how best we implement our modernisation plans and give our customers the services they expect and deserve.

    "The RMT has to stop being the problem and get on board - finally - and be part of the solution. Everyone is sick and tired of the union’s posturing and it has to stop, and stop now. It’s what the public want.”

  16. Southern strike: The next dispute is due to start on October 11

    Stuart Maisner

    BBC Live reporter

    So what's the strike about and how might you be affected?

    Video content

    Video caption: Southern text video
  17. Here's how Sussex newspapers are covering the Southern strike announcement

    The Argus: RMT announces five new dates for strike action on Southern Railway

    Eastbourne Herald: Southern rail guards to take 14 more days of strike action

    Chichester Observer: Brighton council meeting suspended after union sit-in.

    Pile of newspapers