South Western Railway only able to offer reduced timetable
There will be a limited service on strike days. Picture: SWR
December 15, 2022
South Western Railway (SWR) has announced a reduced timetable for its services between Christmas and New Year.
Due to an overtime ban by members of the RMT and TSSA unions over the holiday period, it will only be able to offer the same service delivered during previous all-out strikes.
The ban, which also covers rest days, affects staff in a variety of roles including guards on trains as well as dispatchers on platforms and shunters in depots. SWR say this significantly limits its ability to operate train services throughout the extended period of industrial action.
The next full strike day is Friday 16 December and followed by another one on Sunday 18 December. From that day until 2 January, SWR will operate the same level of service normally provided on strike days.
There will be four trains an hour running between Waterloo and Windsor serving stations on the Hounslow Loop which includes Brentford, Chiswick, Isleworth, Kew Bridge and Syon Lane.
This service will also provide the only trains serving Putney, Barnes, Barnes Bridge and Wandsworth Town.
In addition, four trains an hour will run between Woking and Waterloo calling at Wimbledon. Southern Rail also serves Wimbledon and during the last strikes it attempted to run a Sunday service.
There will also be non-stopping trains running a reduced service from Basingstoke and Southampton.
The trains will operate between 7am and 10pm only, with some parts of the network closed for either the whole period or on certain days
There is no service at all on Christmas Day and Boxing Day and trains will stop operating from mid-afternoon on Christmas Eve with the last train departing at midday. On 27 December, no services will operate before midday with many starting much later.
Passengers are also urged to only travel if absolutely necessary on 18, 24 and 27 December and check before you travel on other days during the period.
SWR’s Performance and Planning Director, Steve Tyler, said, “We are very sorry that the RMT overtime ban will severely disrupt our customers travel plans throughout the Christmas period and into the New Year.
“While not a strike, the overtime ban limits the number of trains we can get into service each day and we have had to make some difficult decisions to be able to provide a reliable and consistent service throughout the period.
“We are urging customers to check their entire journey before setting off and thank them for their patience and cooperation during this damaging industrial action by the RMT.”
The RMT claims that a settlement of the strike has been prevented by the insistence of the government that it agrees to a deal which phases out the use of guards.
General Secretary Mick Lynch congratulated his union’s members on their ‘dignity and fortitude’ adding, "They have shown how important their work is to the functioning of the economy and wider society.
"All they want is a negotiated settlement on job security, a decent pay rise and good working conditions.
"And they are determined to continue their industrial campaign until an agreed resolution is achieved.”
In addition, the RMT has announced that its members at Network Rail and train operating companies including SWR will be taking strike action on 3, 4, 6, and 7 January 2023.
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