Southern Railway to cut back 340 trains a day

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MORE than 340 trains a day will be cut in a revised timetable, Southern Railway have said.

Southern is introducing a temporary revised weekday timetable from Monday (July 11) to reduce the impact on passengers and staff of unpredictable and late notice cancellations caused daily by unprecedented levels of train crew sickness and unwillingness among others to work overtime.

A total of 341 trains a day will cut on the network.

The operator is also taking action to encourage staff back to work and working with the government to introduce more generous passenger compensation.

Southern has been locked in a bitter row with the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union over plans to change the role of conductors, which has led to several strikes.

Alex Foulds, director of Southern Passenger Services, said: ‘We are introducing this temporary weekday revised timetable with reluctance but it is the best thing we can do for our passengers who have been suffering daily cancellations ever since this dispute with the RMT began, and for which we are sincerely sorry.

‘It should give the majority of our passengers a better, more consistent service that they can plan around.

‘While our first priority is our passengers, we also understand that this has been a difficult time for our staff. Conductors already know that their jobs are guaranteed, that there will be no reduction in salary and that the independent rail safety body has confirmed our plans are safe.

‘Now, after listening to our staff, we have also decided to restore leisure travel benefits. All of this, we believe, should help our staff feel able to return to work and so reduce the issues causing the current high level of train cancellations.’

The company, which runs trains between Portsmouth and Brighton and up to London Victoria, said trains would be running at 95 per cent capacity to Victoria in the AM and PM peaks.

The West Coastway line between Brighton and Southampton services is mostly withdrawn.

Passengers should catch Brighton to Portsmouth trains and change at Barnham onto the Victoria to Southampton trains which are still running.

Between 07.35am to 10.14am there are no stopping services between Chichester and Havant so replacement buses are being provided.

Gatwick Express services in the peak times are largely unaffected but there is a reduced service in the off peak.