Taxi firm's '˜share service' to help rail passengers

A TAXI firm is offering to pick up groups of commuters in a bid to ease travel woes caused by train strikes.

Thursday, 15th December 2016, 5:55 am
Updated Thursday, 15th December 2016, 11:22 am
A quiet London Bridge station as a strike by train drivers on Southern Railway, in a dispute over driver-only trains, crippled thousands of services caused misery for hundreds of thousands of passengers

AndiCars, in Havant, is putting on a service to help passengers affected by Southern industrial action save money by sharing taxi rides.

It will be offering the share scheme tomorrow, expected to be one of the busiest travelling days of the year, which coincides with planned industrial action that will see no services run on Southern Rail.

The idea is for affected commuters to call AndiCars, who will then group people into shared taxis depending on where they live and their destinations.

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The service will cover the Portsmouth and Havant areas, plus further afield.

Mark Mudie, from AndiCars, said he had sympathy with passengers, as they were the ones most affected by the strikes, which had inspired the taxi firm to put on the new share service.

He said: ‘If you are willing to share, we will get you there.

‘Frequent train strikes are causing major disruption to many travellers across the south coast.

‘We here at AndiCars understand the stress this is causing and we want to help.

‘If you are willing to share with other passengers, we’ll do our best to get you where you need to be.

‘We will have dedicated staff committed to ensuring your car share is hassle-free and will only share you with passengers nearby to minimise further disruption to your schedule.

‘So whether you are commuting to work, or starting your Christmas holidays, call us.’

Southern Rail – which operates services across the Portsmouth area – has been locked in a long-running bitter battle with both the Aslef and RMT unions over its plans to change the role of guards and introduce driver-only trains.

The unions argue the proposals are a risk to safety, and have held a series of strikes throughout the year, culminating in Southern’s 2,242 services being halted yesterday and tomorrow, causing the worst rail disruption for more than 20 years.

Emergency talks were set to be held today with conciliation service Acas in a bid to find a resolution.

Charles Horton, chief executive of Southern’s owners, Govia Thameslink Railway, said: ‘We assure everyone we are committed to trying to find a solution to the union’s dispute.’

To use the AndiCars service, call (023) 9235 0350.