Southern is set to restore its full train service next week following the suspension of strike action by train drivers’ union ASLEF.
As part of industrial action in a dispute over the introduction of driver-only operation on Southern trains, ASLEF told its members not to work any overtime.
Train drivers were also due to walkout on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday next week, but agreed to suspend the strikes if rail operator Govia Thameslink Railway agreed to fresh talks.
Now Southern has announced that as a result it will be restoring its full train service from next Tuesday (January 24).
The RMT union, which represents conductors, is due to hold a strike on Monday January 23, during which Southern says it will run more than 70 per cent of services if it goes ahead.
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 to Hastings
- Chichester to Portsmouth and Southampton
- Lewes to Haywards Heath
- Coastway stations (including Bognor, Littlehampton, Eastbourne, Worthing and Hastings) will regain a direct service to London
- Routes that previously finished early in the evening will also now run much later.
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.
Southern is advising customers to check its website www.southernrailway.com for the latest travel information before travel.
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