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Hundreds of thousands of passengers face disruption in first of eight strikes on SWR

600 trains have been cancelled affecting all routes Photo: Victoria Jones/PA

Around 650,000 passengers are facing disruption on South Western Railway as the first of eight strikes by the RMT union begins.

The long-running dispute centres on changes to the role of guards on trains which the union say is unsafe, which SWR strongly deny.

Members have walked out for 24 hours, with the next strike on Saturday.

Six hundred trains have been cancelled, affecting all routes.

On a normal day the company runs 1,700 trains.

The company say most routes will have a reduced service with buses replacing trains on some lines.

Andy Mellors, Managing Director, South Western Railway

RMT strike action is planned on the following dates:

  • 0001 Hours and 2359 Hours on Thursday 26 July 2018
  • 0001 Hours and 2359 Hours on Saturday 28 July 2018
  • 0001 Hours and 2359 Hours on Tuesday 31 July 2018
  • 0001 Hours and 2359 Hours on Saturday 4 August 2018
  • 0001 Hours and 2359 Hours on Saturday 11 August 2018
  • 0001 Hours and 2359 Hours on Saturday 18 August 2018
  • 0001 Hours on Friday 31 August 2018 and 2359 Hours on Saturday 1 September 2018

All the latest updates can be found on the South Western Railway website.

Credit: ITV Meridian

We are doing everything we can to minimise disruption caused by the RMT strikes and plan to run at least 60% of services on Thursday 26 July. We are publishing detailed service information, including on alternatives for passengers, on our website and will be updating this for future strike dates as soon as details are confirmed. We advise all customers to check their journey before they travel."

– South Western Railway
Credit: ITV Meridian

”RMT members are standing rock solid and united again this morning across South Western Railway in the latest phase of the campaign to put public safety, security and access before private profit.

“RMT is angry and frustrated that a request by the union to get serious talks with South Western Railway bolted down this week was met with the same old tired response from the company that refuses to move the process on and address the fundamental issues.

“That is no way to treat a serious dispute that will impact on huge numbers of passengers through into September and SWR need to get out of this bunker mentality.

“It is particularly galling as positive proposals the union put forward in earlier talks that could have formed the basis of an agreement were welcomed by the management side but were subsequently sabotaged as they were escalated up the SWR management structure.

“Our members are striking today to put public safety before private profits and it’s about time SWR took note of what is going on elsewhere in the rail industry, and the settlements RMT has struck that underpin the guard guarantee, and started talking with us seriously around a similar package that puts safety, security and access to services top of the agenda.”

– Mick Cash, General Secretary, RMT union