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Southern Railway to restore 'full timetable' next week after train drivers suspend three-day strike

The three-day strike was suspended for crunch talks. Credit: PA

Southern is to restore its "full train service" from next Tuesday after drivers' union ASLEF suspended a three-day strike, the rail company announced.

The company said it will not be possible to reintroduce a full timetable before then because work rosters were issued before ASLEF called off the strikes and lifted an overtime ban.

Industrial action was suspended as it was announced union representatives are holding crunch talks over staffing and jobs with managers.

However, RMT's dispute over conductors is ongoing and a 24-hour strike scheduled for Monday over driver-only trains remains in place, the rail company said.

The union has warned of further industrial action after February 6 if the row is not resolved.

Southern said during the strike, the company will still be able to run over 70% of its trains, 10% more services than previous conductor strike days.

Southern services have been beset by strikes and disruption. Credit: PA

Angie Doll, Southern's passenger services director, said: "Whilst inevitably there will be disruption next Monday, the good news is that due to the changes we've now fully rolled out, we're now able to run more services on more routes serving more passengers and ultimately we'll have fewer cancellations and delays.

"Next Monday, some 200 extra trains will be running and several routes will have their first service on an RMT strike day.

"The RMT should now recognise that their industrial action is wholly futile. They should stop the strikes, get back round the table with us and move forward together with us, delivering a better railway for our passengers."

The rail company said the following routes - previously suspended due to the RMT strike - will now operate:

  • Eastbourne to Hastings
  • Chichester to Portsmouth and Southampton
  • Lewes to Haywards Heath
  • Coastway stations (including Bognor, Littlehampton, Eastbourne, Worthing and Hastings) direct services to London

Routes which previously finished early in the evening will also now run later, and from Tuesday Southern plans to operate the normal full timetable.

Southern advised passengers to check its website for the latest information before they travel.

Thousands of passengers were hit by three days of strikes last week, after enduring months of disruption because of industrial action, staff shortages and other issues.