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New Forest and Christchurch stations close again as South Western Railway workers strike on Wednesday 27th July



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RAIL users in the New Forest and Christchurch will find local stations closed this Wednesday as South Western Railway workers strike again.

SWR has announced a "severely reduced" timetable for the day, with no services travelling further south than Southampton, as RMT union members walk out in a row over job security, pay and working conditions.

This is the third day of strikes, after industrial action in June which saw identical station closures locally as 2,100 SWR staff joined the 40,000 striking nationwide.

No South Western Railway services will run across the New Forest and Christchurch on Wednesday
No South Western Railway services will run across the New Forest and Christchurch on Wednesday

Two more walk-outs are planned for 18th and 20th August.

SWR has urged customers to travel by rail only if absolutely necessary, with the following services only running – from 7.15am to 6.30pm:

  • Four trains per hour in each direction between Waterloo and Windsor via Hounslow
  • Two semi-fast trains per hour in each direction between Waterloo and Basingstoke
  • Four trains per hour in each direction between Waterloo and Woking
  • Two fast trains per hour in each direction between Waterloo and Southampton

Trains will not stop at all stations on the routes, and there will be no SWR services across the rest of the network.

Services on Thursday will also start much later than usual, with no trains earlier than 7.30am.

SWR MD Claire Mann said: “The scale of the planned industrial action limits the number of trains we can run and routes we can serve, resulting in the severely reduced service we are able to operate on the strike day.

“We urge customers to only travel by rail if absolutely necessary on Wednesday, and to check before you travel on Thursday, as we will be running a late-starting service due to the disruption of the strike the previous day.

“We are sorry that strikes will again cause such disruption, and we are grateful to our customers for their continued cooperation, patience, and understanding as the rail industry works to end this damaging nationwide strike action.”

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch (picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA)
RMT general secretary Mick Lynch (picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA)

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “Our members are more determined than ever to secure a decent pay rise, job security and good working conditions.

“Network Rail have not made any improvement on their previous pay offer and the train companies have not offered us anything new.

“In fact Network Rail have upped the ante threatening to impose compulsory redundancies and unsafe 50% cuts to maintenance work, if we did not withdraw our planned strike action.

“The train operating companies have put driver-only operations on the table along with ransacking our members terms and conditions.

“RMT will continue to negotiate in good faith but we will not be bullied or cajoled by anyone.

“The government need to stop their interference in this dispute so the rail employers can come to a negotiated settlement with us.”

Network Rail southern region managing director John Halsall said: “I’m so sorry for the disruption, and I know it comes on top of some really difficult days for passengers this summer. We have specially-trained staff preparing to come in on Wednesday to keep some lines open, but it will be a very limited service.

“I can only thank our passengers, who have shown immense patience over this dispute and the disruption. Please do check before you travel on the 27th, paying particular attention to the times of your last trains home – they will be very early – and only travel if absolutely necessary.”

To plan your journey visit: www.southwesternrailway.com/plan-my-journey



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