Commuters face renewed strike misery over Christmas, with new industrial action planned on New Year’s Eve on South Western Railway.
The RMT union will also strike for the whole of Thursday 27 December on South Western Railway, accusing the train line of refusing to engage in “a serious talks process” to solve a long-running dispute over train guards’ safety.
The new strikes come in addition to 24 hours of strikes on Saturday 22 December on that line.
Meanwhile Christmas shoppers will be hit by separate RMT action on the Central Line on 21 and 22 December, a peak time for sales on the high street.
RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “This latest phase of action in the long-running dispute on South Western Railway comes solely as a result of the companies intransigence when it comes to reaching a negotiated settlement that would underpin the guard guarantee on their trains.
“South Western Railway stubbornly refuse to make any progress at all in resolving this dispute, which is about safety, security and access on South Western Railway. The company are hell bent on opening up a loophole that would allow them to run services driver only at their discretion.”
A South Western Railway spokesperson said: “We had already offered to meet with the RMT again next week to try and resolve this dispute. By announcing further strike dates, the RMT has shown it has no intention of finding a solution and is only interested in inflicting more misery on passengers as they try to enjoy the festive season.
“This strike action is totally unnecessary. We have guaranteed to roster a guard on every train, and we need more, not fewer guards. Should this strike action go ahead, we will do everything we can to provide the best service possible for our customers.”
The RMT is also striking at key stations along the Bakerloo Line on Boxing Day and 13 January over staff safety concerns.