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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..

Three day rail strike set to cause travel chaos

Southern train customers will be affected

Southern Rail passengers have been warned to expect "severe and significant" disruption on the train network ahead of a three-day strike by conductors in an ongoing row over changes to their role.

The three-day walkout by members of the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) will disrupt transport services on Tuesday 6th, Wednesday 7th and Thursday 8th December 2016.

The Railways Minister, Paul Maynard, was in Sevenoaks in Kent today to launch a new smart card which marks the rail operator Southeastern's first move towards "ticketless commuting", similar to the Oyster card system in the capital. Our Political Correspondent Phil Hornby took the opportunity to also ask him what he was doing to put a stop to the industrial disputes which have been causing misery for the region's commuters.

Advice from Southern Rail on travelling around the network during the RMT union strike between Tuesday 6th December and Thursday 8th December 2016.

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Tuesday's London tube strike called off - Southern trains 3-day walkout to go ahead

The RMT union has suspended a 24-hour strike which was due to take place on the London underground tomorrow - Tuesday 6th December 2016.

The industrial action on the Piccadilly, and Hammersmith & City lines concerned separate disputes which the union says have been the subject of successful talks with London Underground at the conciliation service ACAS.

The union said that the Piccadilly line dispute has been resolved, and talks will continue on the other matter.

However, commuters and other rail users in the south east of England will continue to be affected by a three-day strike by Southern Rail conductors in a long running dispute over proposed changes to the role of guards.

The London Underground strike has been suspended

"Talks with London Underground have proved to be positive and focussed and as a result we have been able to make enough significant progress to allow us to suspend the strike action in both disputes that was scheduled for tomorrow evening.

“There is no question that the advances we have made have been down to the strength and resilience of our members in the workplace backed up by a determined and professional negotiating team. The solidarity that led to the resounding ballots for action has been absolutely decisive.

“The union thanks its members and its officers for the exceptional display of unity which has enabled us to make serious progress in resolving the issues at the heart of these disputes.”

– Mick Cash, General Secretary, RMT Union

Watchdog reacts: 'Passengers will be disappointed'

The independent travel watchdog 'Transport Focus' has given its response to the news that rail fares will rise by an average of 2.3% from 2nd January 2017. The organisation looks after the rights of transport users - including people who travel by train.

“Passengers will be disappointed that fares will rise by 2.3 per cent - higher than the last two years. Passengers will now want to see the industry’s investment deliver a more reliable day-to-day railway. The Government should consider setting rail fare rises around the Consumer Prices Index instead to bring rail fares into line with other recognised measures of inflation.

“Many commuters, in London and the south east in particular, have suffered poor performance. For Southern passengers the one-off refund will be a welcome step to rebuilding trust in the long term. The 15-minute Delay Repay compensation on Govia Thameslink Railway starting next week is a welcome improvement for passengers.”

– Anthony Smith, Chief Executive, Transport Focus

RMT union responds: Rail fare rises 'a kick in the teeth'

"This latest fares hike is another kick in the teeth for British passengers and condemns them to continue to pay some of the highest fares in Europe to travel on rammed out and unreliable trains.

"Once again the rip-off private train companies are laughing all the way to the bank as they whack up fares and axe staff in all-out dash to maximise their profits.

"This culture of private greed on Britain's railways has to stop and RMT will step up the fight for a publicly owned railway where services and safety are the priority, not corporate profits. "

– General Secretary Mick Cash, RMT union

Rail firm apologises for disruption last night - passengers eligible for compensation

Southern Rail passengers are being encouraged to apply for compensation after the line between Brighton and Haywards Heath was shut last night. It was due to emergency track repairs at Wivelsfield. The problem led to an evening of delays and cancellations. The line has been reopened.

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