Southern strikes ‘cost country £300m’

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Southern Rail strikes has cost the UK hundreds of millions of pounds, according to new research from the University of Chichester.

A study led by Dave Cooper, Professor of Management and Economic Development, revealed the total cost of the dispute to the country’s GPD (gross domestic product) could be as much as £300m already.

The research analysed the economic effect of 27 days of industrial action taken by ASLEF and RMT since April over proposed changes.

Professor Cooper’s study explored the impact on productivity of both the RMT and ASLEF union strikes. The report calculated the total economic costs to the country because thousands of commuters have been delayed, have missed work, or have had to stay at home.

More RMT and ASLEF strikes have been planned from Saturday December 31 to Monday January 2 – with action also scheduled from Monday January 9 to Saturday January 14.

Professor Cooper said: ‘The findings put the impact on the economy at about £11m for every day and, if the next scheduled strike days go ahead, the total would be brought to just under £396m.’

‘In reality this may be higher as it does not account for other impacts such as loss of sales, impact of travel delays, staff morale and motivational issues, or individual loss of income.

‘The strikes in December could cost between £47m and £55m and will impact London’s retail and service economy at a critical time of the year - small businesses will be unable to absorb these additional costs and individuals are losing their jobs as a result.’