Southern rail gears up for more industrial action with "new resilient" timetable if drivers' overtime ban goes ahead

Rebecca Smith
Southern has been locked in a dispute with the unions
Southern has been locked in a dispute with the unions (Source: Getty)

Southern rail has sought to reassure passengers over a fresh batch of industrial action on the cards, saying a "new resilient" timetable will come into action if an overtime ban by train drivers' union Aslef goes ahead.

The train firm said the timetable will give passengers more reliable services if drivers do go ahead with an overtime ban beginning next Thursday 29 June.

Read more: Report into Southern rail chaos criticises long-running strike disruption

It plans to operate 75 per cent of its weekday services on 29 and 30 June, and said it will work to improve that further from Monday 3 July.

However, it added that passengers are advised to expect a reduced service on some routes and allow for extra time for their journeys. Online journey planners will be updated next week.

Southern passenger services director Angie Doll said:

This action is going to be very inconvenient to our passengers and communities but by putting in this revised timetable we will be able to run a more reliable and consistent service.

We've been safely running our trains with drivers closing the doors on additional routes since January and have had six months of sustained improvement in service levels and positive passenger feedback.

We urge Aslef to put an end to their industrial action and allow passengers to get on with their lives.

Last week, Aslef announced it will be introducing a new overtime ban starting from 29 June, with no definitive end date.

Mick Whelan, general secretary of the union, said:

We have been talking to the company, over the last fortnight, in parallel, but separate, talks about drivers’ terms and conditions; industrial relations; and pay.

The company’s failure to engage over driver only operation is the reason our members will no longer work overtime – which, of course, is entirely voluntary – from Thursday 29 June. By giving the company another fortnight, we had hoped to avoid industrial action because industrial action is always the last resort; we would much rather talk, and negotiate, around a table, than take industrial action.

Aslef, and the RMT, have been in a long-running row with Southern over the roles of train staff. Yesterday, the RMT said workers will walk out in fresh action on 10 July too.

The dispute over so-called driver only operated trains has caused long-running disruption, with the RMT saying it will be unsafe.

How the industrial action will affect Southern on Thursday and Friday, 29 and 30 June:

  • No off-peak Gatwick Express service between Gatwick Airport and Brighton (but a limited peak service will operate)
  • Gatwick Express services will operate to an amended timetable between London Victoria and Gatwick Airport
  • No Southern service to/from Beckenham Junction
  • No service between East Croydon and Milton Keynes Central via Kensington Olympia (a limited peak service will operate between Clapham Junction and Watford Junction)
  • No direct service between London and either Portsmouth or Southampton (a change of trains will be required)
  • Very limited peak services between Tulse Hill, Peckham Rye and London Bridge
  • No Southern peak-only service to/from Guildford
  • No Southern peak-only service to/from Wimbledon
  • An hourly service will operate between Seaford and Brighton
  • A reduced peak service between Ashford International and Hastings

More detail on travel advice for further ahead here.

Read more: More Southern Rail strikes on the way? Drivers to vote on industrial action

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