Rail passengers will face more travel chaos as Southern Railway announce a new 48-hour strike.
The Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union say its members will walk out on 7th and 8th September. It's over the long-running row over the role of guards on trains, changes which were imposed from Sunday.
The strikes will come on top of months of disruption to Southern's services because of industrial action and staff shortages.
Passengers have staged demonstrations to protest the level of services.
The RMT union is expected to announce further strike action on Southern trains later today. It's in an ongoing row about the role of driver-only operated trains. Talks with the company at ACAS broke down last week.
The railway line between Dover and Folkestone, which was badly damaged by storms, is to re-open three months ahead of schedule. It was closed on Christmas Eve after part of the sea wall collapsed, making the track unstable. It has caused travel problems for thousands of commuters but train services will start running again next month. Tom Savvides talks to the chief executive of Network Rail, Mark Carne. This report also includes interviews with Richard Dean of Southeastern and the MP Charlie Elphicke.
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Fresh talks are underway between Southern Rail and union leaders to try to resolve the ongoing dispute over the role of the guard.
The two sides have been meeting at the conciliation service ACAS. This week's 5-day strike has been called off but that hasn't stopped further cancellations today - although things should improve by tomorrow.
But campaigners claim the real victims of any changes will be wheelchair users who could be forced to book their travel 24-hours in advance.
Andy Dickenson investigates and speaks to rail users Esther Fox and Sam Taylor.
Southern rail passengers are being warned to expect significant delays to services today, despite the five-day strike being suspended.
The RMT union and Southern bosses will resume talks at the conciliation service ACAS later. But the strike timetable will remain in place today, with more services returning to the network tomorrow.
There's some hope for travellers using the Southern rail network - the strike has been suspended. The union, the RMT, made the announcement.
But there will still be significant disruption. GoVia Thameslink says rolling stock is out of place, and it could take days before the situation gets back to normal - and that will STILL be a reduced service.
And there's still no solution to the dispute about the role of the guard - a dispute that goes back to ACAS, the arbitration service, tomorrow.
Our Political Correspondent Phil Hornby reports.
View the latest Souther timetable here.
Statement from Southern: "We are encouraged that the RMT has accepted our offer to resume talks at ACAS and has agreed to call off its strike action. For our passengers' sake we truly hope these talks will be productive and bring this long running dispute to an end. At present, the strike timetable is still in the industry train planning systems for Thursday and Friday. Regrettably, this means tomorrow’s service will be based upon the present strike timetable but we will do our very best to add services in and extend the hours of operation wherever possible. On Friday we plan to revert to the revised timetable operating before the strike. We will update ourwebsite as further information becomes available."
Caroline Lucas, Green Party MP for Brighton Pavilion, has urged Southern Rail to accept RMT’s conditions for fresh talks and bring the current strikes to an end.
The way in which this strike has been handled demonstrates yet again that GTR is not fit for purpose. It’s time to strip them of this franchise and put this rail line in public hands.
It’s no exaggeration to say that the debacle that is Southern rail is causing real damage to many of my constituents. And the Government cannot keep shifting the goalposts, allowing Southern to cancel more trains, to run a 'revised' timetable with no end in sight, to leave communities and businesses in my constituency genuinely suffering.
Because let’s not forget that this isn’t just about Southern. The Government has the power to remove the franchise from GTR, to listen to passengers, to freeze fares and to fairly compensate people.
I have been working to challenge those responsible to bring this dispute to an end, and I will continue to do everything in my power to make that happen.