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New Forest and Christchurch rail users set for third day of strikes

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RAIL users in the New Forest and Christchurch are set for a third day of misery as industrial action closes all local stations again tomorrow (Saturday).

Following walkouts on Tuesday and Thursday, which shuttered stations across the area and saw heavily reduced services at those remaining open, the third planned day of action by RMT union workers is still set to happen.

South Western Railway, which provides services locally, is running trains only between Southampton, Woking, Waterloo and Windsor, and on the Isle of Wight.

South Western Railway will be running heavily reduced services again on Saturday
South Western Railway will be running heavily reduced services again on Saturday

More than 2,100 SWR staff are striking – part of around 50,000 nationwide including employees on the London Underground – over pay and proposed job cuts.

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said yesterday: "Our members are leading the way in standing up for all working people trying to get a pay rise and some job security.

"In a modern economy workers need to be properly rewarded for their work, enjoy good conditions and have the peace of mind that their job will not be taken away from them.

"Grant Shapps [Secretary of State for Transport] needs to get in the room or get out of the way so we can negotiate with these companies who we have successfully struck dozens of deals with previously.

"What we cannot accept is thousands of railway workers being thrown on the scrapheap after being praised as heroes during Covid.

"RMT will continue its industrial campaign until a negotiated settlement is reached."

SWR’s managing director, Claire Mann, said: “We’re sorry to have to ask our customers to only travel by rail if absolutely necessary until Sunday as nationwide RMT strikes are causing major disruption on our network.

“We know that many people have planned to use our trains for leisure travel this weekend, but Saturday’s strike action means we will be running a very limited service.

“Customers who do travel on Saturday risk being stranded after the network shuts down at 6.30pm and should double-check their last trains.

“We’re sorry to those whose weekend plans will be hit and thank them for their patience and understanding”.

Timetables for strike days can be found at: www.southwesternrailway.com/plan-my-journey/timetables

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