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Interview with Southern Rail on day one of strike

As a three-day strike by train guards on Southern Rail continues, ITV Meridian presenter Sangeeta Bhabra spoke to Alex Foulds, Deputy Chief Operating Officer Govia Thameslink. She began by asking him when the dispute was going to be resolved.

Southern strike day one: Some commuters may have just 'given up' on attempting to travel by train

Rail users turn up to see if they can catch trains on day one of the strike

The Southern rail dispute has caused almost seven months of misery for commuters who use the line - and today saw the start of the latest three-day walkout by guards in an ongoing row over the proposed introduction of driver-only trains on the network. The train conductors' strike will last until the evening of Thursday 8th December.

The train operator, Southern, has warned its customers to expect continued disruption with more strikes to follow, including industrial action next week from train drivers who are due to stage their own walkout next week.

Buses replaced trains from Ashford International and Hastings - to Eastbourne today.

There was a reduced service from Eastbourne and Lewes into Brighton, up to Gatwick and into London Bridge and Victoria.

Trains from Tonbridge to Redhill were also reduced. And after seeing trains reinstated at the end of September, replacement buses have returned to and from the coastal town of Seaford in Sussex.

From the look of some of the region's railway stations, it seems as though many commuters may have just given up on trying to use the trains at all - instead finding other ways to get around. Malcolm Shaw reports.

Strike dates:

  • Tuesday 6 to Thursday 8 December (RMT conductors' strike)
  • Tuesday 13 & Weds 14 December (ASLEF & RMT drivers' strike)
  • Friday 16 December (ASLEF and RMT drivers' strike)
  • Monday 19 to Tuesday 20 December (RMT conductors' strike)
  • Saturday 31 December to Monday 2 Jan (RMT conductors' strike)
  • Monday 9 to Saturday 14 Jan (ASLEF and RMT drivers' strike)

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Southern strike: From the picket line in Brighton

RMT picket line at Brighton station

A few RMT union members were gathered at Brighton railway station on the picket line to mark the start of their three day strike over proposed changes to the role of guards on Southern trains.

Garry Hassell, from the RMT, said he knew the disruption was difficult for commuters, but the strikers were hoping to achieve a long term goal..

RMT General secretary calls for direct talks with ministers to end chaos

RMT union are demanding direct talks with the Government Credit: ITV

Three days of strike by the RMT union began today as part of an ongoing row over planned changes to the role of the conductor.

RMT General secretary released a statement calling on the government to meet with union members to end the disruption.

Our guards members on Southern Rail remain rock solid and absolutely determined in their action in defence of rail safety this morning.

– General Secretary Mick Cash

Passengers are being advised to check their journey before travelling.

RMT Union responds to last night's rail problems on Southern routes

The head of the RMT union has given his reaction to the problems on Southern Rail and Gatwick Express last night.

"It's all very well Southern trying to blame Network Rail for the chaos that hit services last night but the fact remains that if the company wasn't hoarding £100 million in profits that cash could be invested in renewals and maintenance, easing the intolerable pressure on our rail infrastructure.

"It is also a fact that it was our members, on the trains and stations, who were left to deal with the anger of passengers and the lethal overcrowding not Charles Horton and his team of top bosses who are insulated from life in the real world. If anyone wanted an explanation as to why the workforce are so angry at Southern's repeated attacks on them, and their safety-critical role, just take a close look at last night's events.

"Passengers will be rightly demanding to know whatever happened to Chris Grayling's £20 million Southern Rail Task Force stunt. It is time for the Transport Secretary to get out of his bunker, stop patronising staff and the public and get round the table with the unions and the company to sort the deep-seated problems wrecking services and safety on Southern and he should start with the on-going guards and drivers disputes.‎"

– Mick Cash, RMT General Secretary

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'People are hitchhiking' - commuters search for alternatives or stay at home on second day of strikes

Today was, of course, day two of Southern Rail's week-long strike with commuters across our region, once again, the hardest hit.

Throughout the day both sides of the dispute - the RMT union and rail operators Govia Thameslink - urged each other to return to the negotiating table.

But while all that was going on thousands of passengers stayed at home, and thousands more had to suffer a timetable running at just 60%.

Andy Dickenson followed passenger Jo Tuck on her way to London and we also hear from Cllr Jeannette Towey of Wealden District Council.

Southern rail strikes: Will the Government step in?

The ongoing dispute between the rail operator Southern and its guards over changes to their role has led to another 24-hour strike this week.

Our political correspondent Phil Hornby, who experienced some of the disruption himself this week, interviewed the Rail Minister Claire Perry and asked her if the Government will step in to resolve the dispute between Southern and the unions - or strip the operator, Govia Thameslink Trains, of its franchise.

Southern rail guards in 24 hr strike over role changes - 900 trains cancelled - 300,000 passengers affected

Southern guards on picket line

Thousands of commuters in the South have once again had to bare the brunt of a bitter dispute on the railways, as a fourth 24-hour strike by train conductors cripples services.

Southern Rail runs two thousand 200 trains a day across Sussex, Hampshire and Surrey. Today 900 trains were cancelled because of the strike affecting the journeys of 300,000 passengers.

There are calls for the Government tonight to step-in and take action. Our Transport Correspondent Mike Pearse reports.

The interviewees are: Mick Cash, RMT General Secretary; and Dyan Crowther, GTR Chief Operating Officer.

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