Live updates

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.

Thames Govia calls for fresh talks to resolve industrial action

The company which owns under fire Southern Rail has asked ACAS for fresh talks to try to resolve the on-going industrial dispute.

Govia Thameslink is calling on the union to call off it's five day strike by conductors due to start next month.

Conductors are due to walk out for five days on 8th August Credit: ITV Meridian

“The RMT’s claims we have refused to engage with them are simply not true and we are calling on them to come to Acas and sort this out for the sake of our passengers.

“Passengers have been suffering daily disruption ever since the RMT began this unnecessary action and should not be forced to suffer five days more, all because the RMT is refusing to work with us and modernise the railway for the benefit of our passengers.

“We have guaranteed all our onboard staff a job, as valued members of our future operation, with no reduction in salary.

“We value the work of our staff, who are trying their best to deliver service levels that passengers expect. The sooner we can introduce the essential modernisation that our railways desperately need, the sooner we will address the current capacity and performance issues and deliver a better service for our passengers.”

– Chief Operating Officer Dyan Crowther

Advertisement

Rail ticket office staff to be balloted for strike action

Rail passengers who use Southern and Thameslink services are facing more misery after the rail Union RMT decided to ballot hundreds of ticket office staff for strike action.

Southern says changes would improve services for customers Credit: PA

The union says GTR, which owns the companies, wants to close ticket offices and cut 130 jobs.

The new action is on top of the chaos being caused by an on-going dispute over the roll of guards.

Under the plan new roles of Station Hosts will be created that will see staff removed from ticket offices and sent onto platforms to assist passengers and sell tickets.

The impact of their proposals cannot be underestimated. GTR want to close ticket offices, or cut them to morning peak only, at 83 stations from as far afield as Kings Lynn and Bognor Regis. As a means of doing this they plan to introduce a new multi-functional role of Station Host which we estimate will result in a cut of at least 130 jobs.

– RMT Union

GTR insists it is the best use of staff time and will improve services for passengers.

Passengers locked out as rail chaos deepens

Rail unions say we're on the edge of a disaster. MPs say there could be serious injuries - or worse. The Mayor of London says Southern should be stripped of its franchise.

And the tens of thousands of commuters caught up in the chaos of delays in Sussex - and the closure of Brighton station last night - say the situation has become intolerable.

It's been a long dispute between Southern Rail and the unions. And, the delays and overcrowding are getting worse.

Malcolm Shaw heard from passenger Pam Roach, and Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London.

  1. Phil Hornby

The Last Word, July 2016

Out with the old, and in the with the new. Goodbye to the EU, and hello to the vicar's daughter from Sussex - the Maidenhead MP, Theresa May. So much has happened on the political scene in the last three weeks. Whoever thought in June, that it would be May in July ?

On this month's Last Word, Helen Whately MP, the Faversham & Mid Kent Conservative; Anneliese Dodds MEP, the Labour euro-MP for South East England; and Tim Loughton MP, who represents the Conservatives in Worthing East & Shoreham debate what a Theresa May Government will look like. And they look at the future of the Labour Party as challengers emerge to Jeremy Corbyn's leadership.

MP holds public meeting about Southern trains row

A Southern train in the tracks

The MP for Horsham, Jeremy Quin, has been holding a public meeting this morning about rail services in his constituency.

The Conservative politician raised the issue in the House of Commons at Prime Minister's Question Time on 29th June. His constituency is served by Southern trains, the firm at the centre of a row with the RMT union over planned changes to the role of guards. There have been a number of strikes by workers, and on Monday the rail operator is due to introduce an emergency timetable which includes cancelling 341 trains a day.

Ahead of today's meeting, the MP said:

For non-train users I cannot adequately convey the sheer frustration of those that are (and pay so much for the privilege). Southern’s new Emergency Timetable may be a reflection of reality but announcing the cancellation of hundreds of services – services which were advertised when commuters bought their season tickets - will not win “hearts and minds”, nor will the inevitable over-crowding.

– Jeremy Quin, MP for Horsham

Advertisement

Southern passengers to hold protest

Passengers will hold a protest on Monday afternoon Credit: ITV Meridian

Southern passengers are to hold a new protest about the current state of services. It will be held at Victoria on Monday evening as the company introduce 341 cuts to services.

Passengers say it is simply not good enough to cut trains which will lead to more crowding.

The company say it will better inform passengers about what services are more likely to run.

The dispute centres on the role of the guard.

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.

Load more updates