RAIL commuters in Portsmouth are facing disruption throughout this week, as a fresh round of strikes begin today.
RMT Union is holding strikes from today (October 23) until Saturday, October 27 – with further strikes every Saturday in November.
The strikes mean that a reduced service and alternative timetable are in place for South Western Railway this week.
RMT members are taking industrial action over a long-running guards’ safety dispute. with the union protesting against plans for guard-less trains.
RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: ‘Our dispute is about safety, security and access on South Western Railway while the company look to open up a loophole that would allow them to run services driver only at their discretion.’
People travelling along the line to London Waterloo via Guildford will have two trains an hour – one fast and one slow service.
The fast train leaves Portsmouth Harbour at quarter to each hour, with the slow service departing at quarter past.
The London Waterloo to Haslemere trains will not run, and stopping services will call additionally at Milford and Witley in both directions.
Additional services will run during peak periods.
Two trains will run every three hours from Portsmouth to Southampton, with a similar service running from Portsmouth to Basingstoke.
In a statement, South Western Railway said: ‘The RMT has again decided to needlessly disrupt our customers and colleagues with more strikes over the next two months.
‘The union has cynically chosen dates with the aim of targeting hard-working commuters, families enjoying the half-term holiday and sports fans to cause as much misery as possible. We will be doing everything we can to minimise this disruption.
‘Our plans mean more guards, not fewer and we have guaranteed a guard with safety critical competencies to be rostered on all of our services.
‘Should the RMT proceed with these damaging strikes, we will do everything possible to provide as many services as we can.’
Refunds can only be claimed for cancelled or delayed trains – to apply for a refund go to southwesternrailway.com/contact-and-help/refunds-and-compensation/refunds