Southern rail debacle: The strikes aren't on tomorrow but that doesn't mean the trains will be running

Oliver Gill
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Southern Rail And The Train Drivers Union Meet At ACAS For Talks
Not invited: RMT boss Mick Cash found was locked out of talks between Southern rail and drivers union Aslef today (Source: Getty)

Southern rail commuters hoping to get to work tomorrow may need to take another day off and have been warned the network will be rife with reductions and cancellations.

The Govia-owned firm has admitted some striking staff may not be able to get to work tomorrow because industrial action doesn't actually finish until midnight tonight. This will have a knock-on impact on tomorrow's service.

Read more: The PM wants Corbyn to get on the phone with Aslef to stop Southern strikes

Director of passengers services Angie Doll said:

We will be working hard to run as many services as possible tomorrow, but regrettably I have to warn passengers that services will be severely impacted, with reductions and cancellations across all routes.

With today’s strike ending at midnight, despite our best efforts, some trains and crew will still not be in position for tomorrow’s service; and the overtime ban will continue to have a serious impact.

Drivers from the Aslef union still have an overtime ban in place, which was brought into force from 6 December. This is serious hampering deliver of services, which is dependent on flexible working from staff.

Read more: Southern rail strike chaos costs millions as 300,000 commuters stranded

Southern rail are today in talks with Aslef hosted by conciliation service Acas to try and solve the impasse over who controls the doors on rail carriages. The Rail Maritime and Transport union (RMT) claimed it wasn't allowed to join the talks. Southern rail said it wasn't invited.

Services on the Southern network ground to a halt on Tuesday and Wednesday as a double whammy of strike action from both unions hit services. While a brief cease fire was always planned for Thursday, a similar lock down is on the cards for Friday unless progress can be made at today's talks.

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