Commuters’ anger at Southern train cancellations

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Commuters have spoken about their rage with a train service after a third 24-hour strike was called in a dispute over the introduction of driver-only trains.

The Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union has called for industrial action next Tuesday which will see Southern services in the area affected.

It comes amid an ongoing row between the union and Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) over proposals that would see the service use on-board supervisor roles and drivers to operate doors.

Southern Railway have previously stated that their on-going service problems, which have seen numerous cancellations in the area are due to a high level of conductor sickness.

Stacey Killon, who commutes from Fratton to Hove five days a week told the BBC: ‘Since April when the first strikes happened, I’m late to work nearly all the time.

‘It’s a little bit of a nightmare and sometimes I have to shift a lot of stuff around.’

Another listener, Alan, wrote to the station to say: ‘I do not believe this to be driver illness but wildcat strike action.

‘My daughter has a season ticket from Havant to Chichester and I have now lost count of the number of times I’ve had either to take or collect her as she has no idea when the next train might be.’

Paul Cox, the RMT’s South East organiser said: ‘This is not wild cat strike action. That is absolutely a lie.
‘It’s a lie that they [Southern Railway] think if they tell it long enough that they think people will start to believe it. It is fiction.

‘It is not just about operating doors. Conductors will save lives in the event of an emergency.’

Alex Foulds, commercial director at Southern Railway said: ‘We need to get a resolution to this.

‘We will do everything we can to run the best possible service on that day.

‘We want RMT to talk with us and agree these changes with us but the fact of the matter is if they are not prepared to do that in a reasonable way then we will pursue these changes anyway.’