Train passengers voice frustration as Southern strike decimates services across Portsmouth area

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TRAIN commuters have spoken of their frustration as the first day of Southern strike action causes major problems across the Portsmouth area rail network.

Passengers at Havant train station said their journeys had been either delayed or cancelled altogether and they had been forced to make last-minute arrangements.

An escalating dispute over the role of Southern train conductors have led to a five-day walkout, resulting in many services being abandoned.

No trains are running between Havant and Chichester and no Southern routes are in operation between Portsmouth and Southampton.

David Doyle, of Horndean, said: ‘We booked with Southern to get to Gatwick. There is no service there so we have to take a train to Guildford and get to Gatwick from there.

‘It’s a different provider though, with South Western. There was no way to go direct from here.

‘We have already paid the £54 for our tickets from here and we’re probably looking at around £60 more to get to Guildford and got from there (to Gatwick).

‘It’s a case of trying to get the compensation paid back when we get home”

His wife Ann said: ‘We ordered them 3 months ago so there was no way of knowing this was going to happen at that time.’

Norman Lees who was with his wife Jean, from Glasgow, said: ‘We are not affected, but the news about it has travelled up to Scotland. There have been called for the service to be nationalised, and if it gets that bad, you know something has gone wrong in the private sector.’

Another family from Chichester said they had been forced to drive to Havant and pick up a train from there to Portsmouth for a planned day out.

And a woman getting off the train at Havant was left to find if there was a bus available to Chichester after being informed she couldn’t get on another train.