SOUTH West Railway is bringing a summer of travel misery for commuters as staff go on a series of strikes with industrial action set to last until early September.
Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union are taking industrial action over a dispute regarding the future of guards on trains. Here is more information about what to expect.
PA:Press Association South Western Railway has joined the strike involving four train operators
When is the South Western Railway industrial action scheduled for?
The industrial action kicked off on July 26, in the first of eight weeks of travel misery for rail users.
Action will apply across the network and impact journeys into London terminating at Waterloo, Victoria, Clapham Junction, Wimbledon and Richmond stations.
One day strike action will take place between 12.01am and 11.59pm on:
Saturday, August 11 Saturday, August 18 Two-day strike from 12.01am on Friday, August 31 until 11.59pm on Saturday, September 1
Rail replacement bus services will operate during weekday strike days between:
Exeter St Davids and Yeovil Junction (Crewkerne, Feniton, Whimple, Cranbrook and Pinhoe will not be served) Virginia Water and Weybridge Guildford and Ascot
The following routes will not be served by South Western Railway during weekday strike days:
Leatherhead to Dorking – use Southern services Salisbury to Bristol – use Great Western Railway (GWR) services Westbury to Yeovil Junction via Frome – use GWR services Surbiton to Hampton Court – use Transport for London (TfL) buses from Kingston Teddington to Shepperton – use TfL buses. Local buses may be available but SWR tickets will not be valid on these services Berrylands Station – use TfL buses. Crewkerne, Feniton, Whimple, Cranbrook and Pinhoe will not be served. Local buses may be available, but SWR tickets will not be valid on these services
Are tickets valid with other rail and bus operators?
On strike days, passengers can use their ticket on the following train operators at no extra cost:
Between Bristol Temple Meads and Salisbury Westbury and Yeovil Pen Mill
Southern Rail routes:
To and from Dorking to Clapham Junction, including London Victoria (not available for advance purchase tickets)
Tickets will also be accepted on the following Transport for London bus routes:
R68 290 235 216
Why did the RMT union call for industrial action?
The RMT union, which represents guards and drivers, called for the strikes over plans to remove staff from trains, which would then become driver-only-operated (DOO).
Unions have said the move could potentially make trains more dangerous because no one will be keeping an eye on people getting on and off trains as well as keeping passengers safe during their journeys.
However, the Office of Road and Rail has insisted the trains will be safe so long as the right equipment and training is provided.
RMT General Secretary, Mick Cash said: “Our members are striking again from Thursday to put public safety before private profits and it’s about time SWR took note of what is going on elsewhere in the rail industry, and the settlements RMT has struck that underpin the guard guarantee, and started talking with us seriously around a similar package that puts safety, security and access to services top of the agenda.
“This rolling crisis in Britain’s privatised rail industry will fuel the growing and unstoppable campaign for public ownership.”