Commuters face more travel chaos as Southern strike gets underway

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HUNDREDS of thousands of rail passengers faced even more travel chaos today as a 48 hour Southern rail strike got underway.

Train services in the Portsmouth area were affected because of the two-day strike in an escalating dispute over the role of conductors.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union at Southern Railway walked out today because of the ongoing row over with Southern’s parent company.

Passengers faced delays getting into work, and those returning to school also had disruptions.

Picket lines were mounted across Southern’s network, including London Victoria and Brighton.

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: ‘Our fight is with the company and the Government, who have dragged this franchise into total meltdown. We share the anger and frustration of passengers and we cannot sit back while jobs and safety are compromised on these dangerously overcrowded trains.’

Trains have been disrupted for weeks because of industrial action and a shortage of staff, which the company blamed on high levels of sickness.

Southern have said it will run 60 per cent of services over the 48 hour strike period.