South Western Railway services continue to be delayed today despite workers returning for General Election

RAIL services will continue to be disrupted today over the long-running dispute over guards on trains despite a return to work for the General Election.

Thursday, 12th December 2019, 9:34 am
Updated Thursday, 12th December 2019, 10:47 am

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union on South Western Railway (SWR) are taking 27 days of industrial action throughout December and into New Year's Day as the bitter row remains deadlocked.

Around half of normal services have been running since the start of the month, causing huge disruption for hundreds of thousands of passengers, including commuters into London Waterloo, the UK's busiest station.

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The RMT members returned to work today for the General Election but will resume the industrial action on Friday for the rest of the month, and on New Year's Day.

An amended timetable which started at the beginning of December will remain in place on Thursday.

An SWR spokesman said: ‘The rail network requires enough trains to be in the right locations to run a full service. Given the first phase of the RMT strike ends the day before and recommences the day after, we will not have time to move the trains in order to operate a normal timetable on December 12.

‘As a result, the amended timetable will continue to run and this is available on our website.

‘We are doing everything we can to deliver a consistent service and ensure we get as many customers moving as possible on Thursday.’

The union has put forward proposals it believes could resolve the row, saying the dispute now centres on guards having a few seconds to ensure the safe dispatch of trains.

The company has pledged to have guards on trains, but it wants them to have more time to help passengers such as those in wheelchairs or with buggies.