Portsmouth train strikes: How latest ASLEF action will affect city as no services run to London Waterloo

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Portsmouth railway passengers will experience fresh journey delays and cancellations as ASLEF union members continue to fight for better pay and working conditions.

South Western Railway (SWR) has warned customers across Portsmouth and Hampshire to check its journey planner before they travel between Monday, May 6, and Saturday, May 11. It comes as part of an ongoing dispute between members of the Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen with railway companies.

Mick Whelan, ASLEF’s general secretary, said: “It is now a year since we sat in a room with the train companies – and a year since we rejected the risible offer they made and which they admitted, privately, was designed to be rejected. Since then, train drivers have voted, again and again, to take action to get a pay rise. That's why Mark Harper, the Transport Secretary, is being disingenuous when he says that offer should have been put to members. Drivers would not vote to strike if they thought an offer was acceptable. They don't. And that offer – now a year old – is dead in the water.

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ASLEF members will walk out from South Western Railway main line and depots and SWR Island Line on Tuesday, May 7. Members will also refuse to work non-contractual overtime from Monday 6 to Saturday 11 May.

Whelan added: “Our pay deals at these companies ran out in 2019. Train drivers at these TOCs have not had an increase in salary for five years. That is completely wrong. The employers – and the government – think we are going to give up and run away. They're wrong. In the words of Tom Petty, we won’t back down.”

Aslef general secretary Mick Whelan on a picket line. Credit: Jordan Pettitt/PA WireAslef general secretary Mick Whelan on a picket line. Credit: Jordan Pettitt/PA Wire
Aslef general secretary Mick Whelan on a picket line. Credit: Jordan Pettitt/PA Wire | Jordan Pettitt/PA Wire

How the industrial action will affect Portsmouth

May 7

Large parts of the railway will be closed tomorrow (May 7). Trains will only run between Basingstoke and Salisbury, and to and from certain stations calling at London Waterloo; Basingstoke, Feltham via Twickenham, Guildford via Woking and Woking.

No services will call at Portsmouth Harbour, Southampton Central, Windsor & Eton Riverside, Reading and Exeter St Davids. Customers will not be able to get the train on the Isle of Wight. Trains will only run between 7am and 7pm.

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May 8-11

Fewer services will operate due to the overtime ban taking place. Further engineering work is scheduled on May 11, with a line closure between Ascot and Reading. Services will be altered in the Ash and Havant areas. A SWR spokesperson said people should only make journeys on the railway if they are absolutely necessary.

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