MPs have welcomed the decision to call off Southern rail strikes so that the escalating dispute over the role of train conductors can be resolved.
Planned industrial action today and tomorrow has been dropped to allow fresh talks to happen between Southern and the RMT union.
It is imperative that a deal is agreed as the strike action has been extremely damaging for business and residents across the south coast.Havant MP Alan Mak
Members walked out on Monday and had planned to stay away from work until the weekend.
But following an offer from the RMT to suspend the action if Southern returned to talks without any preconditions, Acas announced that the strike will be suspended.
But travel difficulties will continue, as Southern says a ‘strike timetable’ will remain in place today, although it will try to add extra services.
No trains have been running between Havant and Chichester and no Southern services have run between Portsmouth and Southampton.
Southern bosses have been offering refunds to people affected.
Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt said: ‘I am very pleased the strike has been called off.
‘It will spare commuters and other travellers further misery.
‘I hope that a resolution to these issues can be arrived at swiftly, and the levels of services the franchise promised restored.
‘In the meantime I will continue to push for travellers to be compensated.’
Havant MP Alan Mak said: ‘It’s good news that the RMT union has agreed to go back to the negotiating table and end the misery it has caused to passengers over the past three days.
‘It is imperative that a deal is agreed as the strike action has been extremely damaging for business and residents across the south coast.’
Portsmouth South MP Flick Drummond said: ‘I am pleased RMT has agreed to sit down with Southern and talk, something I have been calling on it to do throughout the dispute.’