More Southern Rail strikes to come next week

The protest by Southern Rail commuters at London Victoria station.

The protest by Southern Rail commuters at London Victoria station.

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Rail passengers are bracing themselves for further strike action by Southern Railway staff next week.

Following three days of strikes this week, staff will walk out between Tuesday October 18 and Thursday October 20 over a safety dispute.

Southern has already promised to provide more rail replacement bus services at stations than for previous strike action.

But talks with the RMT union to avert the industrial action have so far been unsuccessful.

There are 11 more strike dates planned between now and Christmas.

Elsewhere MPs have attacked the government’s handling of rail franchises - including Southern Railway - saying passengers have been ‘badly let down.’

The Transport Select Committee highlighted the “woeful experience” of Southern passengers, and urged ministers to “get a grip” on monitoring rail franchise agreements.

Louise Ellman, who chairs the committee, said: ‘Passengers must be furious and rightly so.

‘While the number of passenger journeys on the railway has more than doubled over the last two decades, the size of the physical network has barely increased at all.

‘Passengers now contribute more than 70 per cent of the industry’s real income, but in too many places, passengers are badly serviced by train operating companies.’

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