Train row: Southern drivers to start overtime ban

Rail users who travel by Southern could be in for more disruption with the news that train drivers who are members of the ASLEF union are to begin an overtime ban on Sunday.

The firm relies on drivers doing overtime so that it can operate its full schedule.

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Urgent talks to avoid new overtime ban on railways

The overtime ban is due to start on Sunday Credit: ITV

Southern is understood to have called an urgent meeting with the train drivers' union Aslef this afternoon in a desperate attempt to try to avert next week's industrial action. Up to 600 trains a day would be cancelled.

Around 1,000 drivers are set to start an indefinite overtime ban on Sunday.

The company is refusing to confirm the peace talks, but union sources say there has been contact with them.

Services will be in chaos for hundreds of thousands of passengers if the action goes ahead.

It is understood both sides will meet at lunchtime.

So far months of talks have failed to reach agreement over driver-only trains.

Rail firm's response to drivers' pending overtime ban

“After over five months of intense negotiations and two peace deals agreed and recommended by the ASLEF executive, we are dismayed the union leadership is taking this action, which is designed to impact as many of our passengers as possible.

“Driver-controlled operation with on-board supervisors was fully implemented back in January and thanks to this we are running more trains than before and our service has improved for five consecutive months. We’re safely running over 80,000 trains a month with drivers controlling the doors across our network – we’re sorry that passengers will suffer as a result of this unnecessary action.

“We have worked our hardest to resolve this dispute with ASLEF. If this action does go ahead we will run as full a timetable as possible. We will be working around the clock to evaluate the impact and develop contingency plans which will be advertised as soon as possible.”

– Nick Brown, Chief Operating Officer at Southern’s parent company Govia Thameslink Railway

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