Live updates

Seaford's trains return but there's trouble down the line

It's been left with almost no trains for the last eleven weeks, but today the town of Seaford in Sussex began to get back on track.

Southern Rail introduced its emergency timetable over the summer, cutting more than 300 services across the region.

Some, at least, have been restored, but there's more trouble looming for commuters, as Malcolm Shaw reports.

RMT announces more Southern strike dates

Strikes are planned in October, November and December Credit: Press Association

The rail union, RMT, have confirmed a series of strikes in the row over the role of guard on Southern rail trains.

Union bosses say Southern Rail is insistent on removing the safety-trained guards from the trains. It's a critical role that the RMT and disability campaigners say must stay.

The RMT describes the company's decision as a "blatant disregard for the safety and security of passengers and staff alike", leaving it with no alternative but to declare [strike] action"

These strikes are scheduled to take place:

  • 00.01 on Tuesday 11th October and 23.59 on Thursday 13th October
  • 00.01 on Tuesday 18th October and 23.59 on Thursday 20th October
  • 00.01 on Thursday 3rd November and 23.59 on Saturday 5th November
  • 00.01 on Tuesday 22nd November and 23.59 on Wednesday 23rd November
  • 00.01 on Tuesday 6th December and 23.59 on Thursday 8th December

Here is the RMT's full statement:

Yet again our members are being forced to take industrial action in a bid to maintain a safe and secure service on Southern. Govia Thameslink and the Government have made it clear that they have no interest in resolving this dispute. Instead they have begun the process of bulldozing through the drive towards wholesale Driver Only Operation (DOO) without agreement and without any concern for the impact on safety, security and disability access. Last week there was a train derailment near Watford that involved two trains. The Guards on both trains played a vital role in protecting the passengers and the trains in what were extremely frightening circumstances. If the train had been DOO and without a Guard the consequences would have been far worse. This week we reached a deal with Scotrail that we are recommending for acceptance in a referendum of our members, that guarantees a fully competent Conductor/Guard on every new train. This agreement protects passengers, and guarantees a second safety trained member of staff on board a train, who can assist if there is an incident such as we recently saw near Watford. If an agreement can be reached on Scotrail, then an agreement can also be made on Southern. In the light of these recent developments it is disgraceful that neither the company or the Government are prepared to engage and are continuing to attempt to impose DOO in the interests of putting profit before safety. We call on them to get round the negotiating table as an urgent priority."

– RMT General Secretary Mick Cash

Advertisement

Best foot forward - commuters ditch the train and walk

We've heard a lot in recent weeks about the misery experienced by commuters on Southern Rail, but two brothers from Sussex decided enough was enough.

Isaac and Otis Kirby-Dunkley were so frustrated by train delays and cancellations that they walked all the way home to Worthing from London Victoria.

The journey of 70 miles took them three days, as Malcolm Shaw reports.

Strike-hit Southern Rail still worst train operator

After months of chaos and disruption, official figures released today confirmed what many Southern Rail passengers already suspected - that the level of service has been appalling.

Between April and June, one in 10 trains run by Southern's parent company, Govia Thameslink, were cancelled or ran more than 30 minutes late.

And the company was the worst performing of all rail operators - with its highest recorded levels of disruption in 12 years.

Meanwhile, disabled passengers say they fear it'll become more difficult for them to travel by train - if proposed changes to the role of conductors go ahead. Malcolm Shaw reports.

Misery for commuters as train guards stage strike

Another day, another strike by Southern Rail staff.

Today's action is the latest in a series of walkouts since April in an ongoing row over the role of guards on trains.

Only 60 percent of the company's services are running during the two days of industrial action.

Services west of Brighton have been badly affected - other trains are operating on that route but they have been very busy.

The line from Eastbourne has a significantly reduced service. And between Redhill and Tonbridge there are no trains running at all.

The RMT union says the strike is being 'fully supported' and warns the dispute could continue until Christmas. Malcolm Shaw reports.

Advertisement

BREAKING: Southern Rail staff announce new 48-hour strike

Credit: ITV News Meridian

Rail passengers will face more travel chaos as Southern Railway announce a new 48-hour strike.

The Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union say its members will walk out on 7th and 8th September. It's over the long-running row over the role of guards on trains, changes which were imposed from Sunday.

The strikes will come on top of months of disruption to Southern's services because of industrial action and staff shortages.

Passengers have staged demonstrations to protest the level of services.

Disabled could be 'hardest hit' by Southern Rail changes - full report

Fresh talks are underway between Southern Rail and union leaders to try to resolve the ongoing dispute over the role of the guard.

The two sides have been meeting at the conciliation service ACAS. This week's 5-day strike has been called off but that hasn't stopped further cancellations today - although things should improve by tomorrow.

But campaigners claim the real victims of any changes will be wheelchair users who could be forced to book their travel 24-hours in advance.

Andy Dickenson investigates and speaks to rail users Esther Fox and Sam Taylor.

'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.

Load more updates