Southern Rail to restore full train service after months of strikes

ASLEF has suspended industrial action

Southern will restore its full train service from next Tuesday now that the drivers’ union ASLEF has suspended its industrial action.
With the timetable and work rosters for this week issued before ASLEF yesterday called off its planned three-day strike and drivers’ overtime ban, and with the RMT’s next conductors’ strike set for Monday, the train operator said it won’t be possible to reintroduce the full timetable until Tuesday.

But it’s confirmed it will introduce additional trains wherever possible as working patterns return to normal.

And during next Monday’s latest RMT strike, Southern says it will this time be able to run over 70% of its trains – 10% more of its normal timetable than it has been able to operate on previous conductor strike days.

This follows the completion by Southern at the start of the year of its programme to put drivers in sole control of the operation of the train, including closing the doors, on nearly 80% of routes and the transfer of many conductors to the new on-board supervisor role focused exclusively on customer service .

Angie Doll, Southern’s Passenger Services Director, said:

“Whilst, inevitably, there will be disruption next Monday, the good news is that due to the changes we’ve now fully rolled out, we’re now able to run more services on more routes serving more passengers and ultimately we’ll have fewer cancellations and delays. Next Monday, some 200 extra trains will be running and several routes will have their first service on an RMT strike day. The RMT should now recognise that their industrial action is wholly futile. They should stop the strikes, get back round the table with us and move forward together with us, delivering a better railway for our passengers.”

The following routes – previously suspended on an RMT conductor strike day – will now operate on Monday:

  • Eastbourne – Hastings
  • Chichester – Portsmouth and Southampton
  • Lewes – Haywards Heath
  • Coastway stations (including Bognor, Littlehampton, Eastbourne, Worthing and Hastings) will regain a direct service to London

From Tuesday, Southern plans to operate the normal full timetable.

Gatwick Express will run every 15 minutes between Victoria and Gatwick, extended every half hour to Brighton between 05.00 and 2200. It will then run half hourly between Victoria and Gatwick only until midnight.

There will be no Gatwick Express services between midnight and 05.00. This is to allow Network Rail to continue with additional engineering work to improve route reliability. Thameslink runs an overnight service to and from Gatwick which passengers will be able to use.