Southern Rail has admitted it can’t guarantee which services will be running over the New Year’s weekend because of strike action.
Passengers using the much-criticised company’s services have faced months of delays and cancellations due to a bitter dispute over the role of conductors.
The strikes, which includes industrial action from December 31 to January 2, have meant passengers have often been unable to buy advance tickets when services are reduced.
People wanting to buy tickets from Portsmouth to London on New Year’s Eve from the Southern Rail website are currently either told they are not available, or in some cases given the option to book alternative travel with another operator.
A Southern spokesman said: ‘It’s regrettable, but we only know what services we can operate during strike days a day or so before as we can only provide services using the resources available to us at the time.
‘We understand that this is frustrating for our passengers as it means that tickets bought, say a week before may be for trains that do not run. ‘However, tickets bought can still be used to travel if there is a suitable alternative service, and if a customer chooses not to travel on the day, a full refund without admin charge will be given.
‘Advance tickets bought for strike days can be used either on the day before strike action or the day after if so wished.’
Strikes will take place on December 13-14, December 16, December 19-20, December 31 to January 2 and January 9-14.