England

Southern rail strike: Second day of three-day action

Southern train Image copyright PA
Image caption Industrial action over the role of guards has caused months of disruption on the Southern network

Southern rail commuters are facing a second day of disruption as members of the RMT union continue their three-day strike over the role of conductors.

On Monday, the union rejected an offer from the company of a £2,000 bonus to staff if they ended the dispute.

Industrial action has added to months of delays and cancellations for passengers, with the latest strike due to last until Friday morning.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has urged both sides to end the disruption.

The action is over plans for drivers, rather than conductors, to operate carriage doors at certain times.

A further three blocks of strikes are planned before Christmas.

Live updates on the strike and other stories

On Wednesday, RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: "RMT Southern guards are standing firm again this morning as they fight to defend safety and access on Britain's biggest rail franchise.

"RMT thanks the travelling public for their support and understanding as our members demand that passenger safety be put before private profit.

"Southern rail need to get out of their bunker and start serious and genuine talks with the trade unions."

Image copyright RMT
Image caption Southern rail workers are said to be "standing firm" on the second day of strike action

But Charles Horton, chief executive of Govia Thameslink Railway, which owns Southern, has claimed modernising the service would be "safe".

"We'll have a second person on board every train that has one now, and more," he said.

"By modernising the train service so that drivers have sole control, passengers will get better on-board customer service and fewer delayed trains.

Members of the train drivers' union Aslef are to be balloted for action over driver-only trains on Southern.

Voting will be held next month, raising the possibility of joint strikes in December.


Strike dates announced by the RMT:

  • 00:01 Tuesday 18 October to 23:59 Thursday 20 October
  • 00:01 Thursday 3 November to 23:59 Saturday 5 November
  • 00:01 Tuesday 22 November to 23:59 Wednesday 23 November
  • 00:01 Tuesday 6 December to 23:59 Thursday 8 December

The RMT's latest three-day walkout, has led to the cancellation of hundreds of trains.

Some routes have no train service, while others have a severely reduced service.

Southern said where services were operating they would generally finish earlier than usual.

It plans to run 61% of its normal timetable during the strike, which equates to 1,373 trains.

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