Rail services grind to standstill in the South as pay dispute nears two years

Empty platforms at Brighton Train Station during strike action by train drivers Credit: ITV Meridian

Rail services across the majority of the South have been at a standstill on Monday because of another strike by train drivers in a near two-year long pay dispute.

Members of the ASLEF union walked out for the third strike in four days, crippling services, particularly in the South East.

Today's strike has affected services on Southeastern, Southern, South Western Railway, the Island Line, Thameslink and Gatwick Express.

This latest walkout will end tonight but it could have a knock on effect tomorrow and passengers are advised to check before they travel.

Empty platforms at Brighton Train Station Credit: ITV Meridian

Aslef members at 16 train companies are also banning overtime on Monday and Tuesday which will disrupt services.

The dispute over pay and working conditions between ASLEF and rail operators is into its 22nd month, with no sign of a breakthrough and no talks planned.

Aslef general secretary Mick Whelan said his members remained solidly behind the industrial action, and criticised the Government and rail companies for the lack of contact over the past year.

The Rail Delivery Group says it's open to talks with ASLEF and wants to work with them to resolve the dispute.

Aslef general secretary Mick Whelan said his members remained solidly behind the industrial action

A Rail Delivery Group spokesperson said, “Train companies are working through plans to manage the unnecessary disruption to our passengers caused by this damaging industrial action.“

"In the meantime we remain committed to resolving this dispute and our offer, which would take average driver salaries to £65,000 for a four-day week without overtime, remains on the table.”

RDG says industrial action since June 2022 has cost the sector around £798 million, stalling its post-pandemic recovery and threatenings its long-term sustainability.

The union says the dispute has cost the industry more than £2 billion, more than it would have cost to resolve the conflict.

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