Chaos as almost a month of rail strikes to hit commuters and shoppers

SW Rail

Rail commuters are to be hit by almost a month of strikes across the Christmas period after talks to avert them broke down.

South Western Railway workers are walking out for 27 days from 2 December after no resolution was found in the long-running dispute over guards on trains.

The service runs trains to and from the country’s busiest station, London Waterloo.

A spokesman for the company said they were “very disappointed” and that “these strikes are unnecessary”.

Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union’s general secretary Mick Cash said: “No proposals that would enable the development of a resolution to the dispute have been put forward by SWR.

“Throughout these talks SWR have not shown any intention of moving the issues at the heart of the dispute forwards, despite verbal assurances in earlier discussions.

“It has become increasingly clear that they are not interested in reaching a settlement at this time.

“As a result of the company attitude all planned action remains on, and the union is committed to ensuring the safest possible method of operation.”

Commuters and shoppers will be disrupted over the Christmas period
He added the RMT is open for any further discussion.

A SWR spokesman said: “We’re very disappointed. Despite promising to keep guards on all our trains and promising that they will have a safety-critical role, the talks broke down today.

“We believe these promises deliver on what the RMT has been asking for, so these strikes are unnecessary.

“We remain committed to finding a solution that works for our customers and we remain open to talks if the RMT decides to reconsider its position.

“In the meantime, our focus has to be on planning and delivering a train service for our customers.”