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Victoria deserted as rail strike continues

Victoria station appears abandoned as railway strikes get underway. Yesterday Southern Rail failed to get an injunction which would prevent train drivers from walking out.

Victoria appears deserted as rail strikes commence. Credit: ITV Meridian

Southern Rail advised commuters to find other means of transport despite the result of the injunction.

Mass disruption and limited services. Credit: ITV Meridian

A lack of service has caused frustration amongst workers.

Southern strike "futile" - Chris Grayling

Chris Grayling, the Transport Secretary says the Southern Rail strike is futile Credit: PA

The Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said the strike was "futile", adding that he would have a "careful look" at how to deal with the situation when the dispute ends.

He told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme that he was not ruling any options in or out.

We are looking very carefully at how we take things forward. There are a lot of things to consider.

– Chris Grayling, speaking on BBC Today programme

Mr Grayling said he was not happy with the performance of the railways in general but he could not deal with the problems until the Southern strikes ended.

He said he had asked Southern's owner, Govia Thameslink Railway, to attend fresh talks at the conciliation service Acas but Aslef had refused - a claim the union has denied.

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Mother's emotional message to MP over rail strike

Jenny Lehane posted this photo of her six-year-old son on his way to school. Credit: Jenny Lehane / PA

A single mother who fears she will lose her job because of delays commuting to work during the Southern rail strike has written an emotional message to her local MP.

Jenny Lehane said she was writing the email with "tears streaming down my face", as she pleaded with the government to "do anything" to stop the industrial action.

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In the message, also posted on the ITV News Facebook page, Ms Lehane said she had been forced to get her six-year-old son out of bed at 5.30am to take him to school on "another three hour journey".

She said: "Do you have any idea of the stress, worry and upset this is causing. I HAVE to go to work. I am a single parent and my 6 year old needs his mother to work to keep a roof over our heads.

"A message from me to all involved: hang your heads in shame!"

Rail unions 'standing shoulder to shoulder'

The RMT union said that RMT drivers on Southern Rail are standing 'shoulder to shoulder' with their ASLEF colleagues during the strike.

This strike action is wholly the responsibility of a Government and a company that have sought to bulldoze through changes that are ill-conceived, finance-led and fraught with danger.

RMT remembers only too well the words of top Government transport official Peter Wilkinson who told Southern passengers he wanted a punch-up with the unions, that train drivers were muppets and that he would starve our members back to work.

That was the top Government rail official making it clear he was hell bent on confrontation and it is that position which has led us to today's shutdown.

– RMT General Secretary Mick Cash

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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)

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.

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