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Southern train drivers on strike for third time this week

Southern has been involved in a bitter dispute with the Aslef union. Credit: PA

Southern Railway will be at a standstill again on Friday because of another strike by drivers in the long-running dispute over driver-only trains.

Members of Aslef will strike for the third time this week, bringing fresh misery to the company's 300,000 passengers.

Southern is again laying on 200 buses and coaches to take passengers to railway stations served by other operators, but advised people not to travel unless it was absolutely necessary.

Train drivers walked out on Tuesday and Wednesday, and will strike again on 24, 25 and 27 January.

Southern Rail strike: Commuters voice frustration

Rail commuters are suffering a fresh bout of chaos today as Southern Railway train drivers begin new strike action.

It is the latest industrial action by the Aslef union in a long-running dispute over driver-only trains.

Thousands of rail passengers have been told not to travel at all this week, with the strike action also affecting Wednesday and Friday.

Many commuters have expressed their anger and frustration on social media.

Southern is providing limited replacement bus and coach services for essential travel from a number of its stations.

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'Strong support' for rail and Post Office strikes

Credit: PA

Strikes by rail and Post Office workers are "solidly supported" according to unions.

Southern Railway RMT members have begun a 48-hour stoppage in a long-running dispute over the role of conductors.

Members of the Communication Workers Union will strike for five days this week, including Christmas Eve, in protest at job losses, the closure of a final salary pension scheme and the franchising of Crown Post Offices.

The union said there was strong backing for its campaign from the public.

General secretary Dave Ward accused the management of rejecting a peace offer and warned post offices will cease to exist on the high street if the planned closure programme continues.

Post Office group network and sales director Kevin Gilliland said: "It will be business as usual in almost all of our network, with over 50,000 Post Office people on hand to support customers as they make their preparations for Christmas."

Southern Railway talks 'end without agreement'

Credit: PA

Talks aimed at resolving the Southern Railway dispute have ended without agreement, the company said.

On Wednesday the train drivers' union Aslef said that "progress had been made" in talks but that Friday's strike would still go ahead.

It will be the third day of strike action this week, after members walked out on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Aslef is opposed to driver-only trains, citing safety concerns as passenger numbers grow, and warning that in-cab monitors, allowing them to check when it is safe to close doors, do not always work.

Nick Brown, chief operating officer of Southern's owners Govia Thameslink Railway, said: "We're deeply disappointed, as our passengers will be, that Aslef has been unable to accept our proposals and we cannot find a way forward to end this dispute with the drivers' union at this stage.

"We're sincerely sorry that commuters' work and family lives are being punished with this unjustified and unprecedented industrial action."

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