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Figures reveal majority of Southern trains late despite 'normal service' promise

Credit: PA

Official figures have revealed almost 75% of trains on Southern were late yesterday, the first day the company said it would operate a normal service after months of strikes. Just 26% of trains on the Brighton mainline were on time, rising to fewer than 60% arriving within five minutes which is the industry standard.

The figures are worse than the previous day which had a strike by RMT conductors when 40% of trains were on time.

The company says it is running a full service now that the drivers union ASLEF has called off strikes this week while peace talks continue and guards are working new contracts which mean they no longer close train doors.

The other union involved in the dispute, the RMT, will hold drivers strikes tomorrow and Friday but as they only have twelve members it is not expected to cause any extra disruption.

Southern say they are committed to improving services and it was impacted because extra services were diverted to Victoria because of a derailment that badly disrupted Southeastern. ​

Govia Thameslink Railway (Gatwick Express, Great Northern, Southern and Thameslink) publishes its performance statistics for the previous day by 12pm the following day.

Commuters hit with third day of Southern strikes

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Services on Southern Railway will be at a standstill again today due to another strike by drivers in the long-running dispute over driver-only trains.

Members of the ASLEF union are striking for the third time this week, severely affecting the company's 300,000 passengers.

Southern is providing 200 buses and coaches to take passengers to nearby stations which link to other rail operators.

Southern are advising passengers not to travel unless it is essential.

Drivers walked out on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week with further strikes planned for 24th, 25th and 27th January.

RMT announces fresh 24 hour strike in January

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The RMT union has announced a further 24 hour strike by guards for Monday 23rd January.

The walkout is part of the long running dispute with Southern Rail over the role of the conductor.

It means commuters now face strikes on 23rd January in addition to the industrial action by the ASLEF union on 24th, 25th and 27th January.

Chris Grayling attacks Corbyn for picket line remark

Chris Grayling speaking in the Commons today

The Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has attacked the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn for saying he would be happy to join a Southern Rail picket line.

He said Jeremy Corbyn was 'putting politics before passengers'.

Labour has called for an independent review of Chris Grayling's decision to refuse proposals for Transport for London to take over Southeastern rail services.

In the Commons today, the Shadow Transport Secretary Andy McDonald said that Chris Grayling had "put party politics ahead of passengers" over the Southeastern decision.

Chris Grayling replied saying "I cannot believe what I've just heard from him. Putting party politics before passengers, in the week when the Leader of the opposition said he would join a picket line to perpetuate the unnecessary strikes on Southern Rail that are causing so much damage to passengers."

Chris Grayling speaking in the Commons today

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RMT: Southern strikes cost taxpayers £6 million

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Strikes at Southern have cost taxpayers sixty million pounds according to the RMT union.

Ticket money lost from not running a service is paid for by the Government under the Southern contract.

Unlike other franchises parent company GTR is paid a set fee to manage the company as part of a complex arrangement with the Government liable for additional profit and losses.

Credit: PA

The union say new clauses are also being added to other companies contracts that will mean losses for strikes will be compensated by the Government.

The RMT say it could mean more guards jobs being lost.

Southern says its plan is safe and will improve passenger service.

They insist it is not about job losses but changes to the role of guards.

They say 100 extra staff are being employed to help passengers on trains.

As with the Southern contract, the government is inserting clauses into new franchise agreements which will mean the tax payer will bankroll Teresa May’s war on the unions.

“It is absolutely scandalous that the public purse will be footing the bill for any industrial action taken against private rail companies. We also now know that that at the same time rail bosses are going to make over £1 billion implementing the government’s policy of getting rid of guards.

“It is clear that the Southern and other disputes are nothing to do with modernising our railway and everything to do with old fashioned union busting and cost cutting.”

– Mick Cash, General Secretary, RMT
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