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RMT claims Southern to cancel 350 trains a day with temporary timetable

Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) is introducing a new temporary timetable which the RMT union claims will include the cancellation of 350 trains a day.

RMT said it had seen figures about the new timetable, which has been approved by the DfT, and will be introduced on 11 July.

RMT has led three strikes on Southern services, owned by GTR, over a dispute about the introduction of driver-operated only (DOO) trains.

The disruptions to services, which Southern has attributed partly to an unusually high rate of conductors calling in sick, have led to Southern drawing with Southeastern for the lowest passenger approval ratings in the latest Transport Focus survey.

Mick Cash, general secretary of the RMT, called for GTR to be removed from the franchise, saying: “The solution of this failing, basket-case franchise is not axing more trains and attacking those trying to hold it together at the sharp end – it is the removal of Govia at the earliest possible point.”

He added that Directly Operated Railways were “lined up and ready to go” to take over the franchise after it is returned to public ownership, and should run the route “under public control, in the public interest”.

A GTR spokesperson confirmed a new timetable will be introduced, but did not say if trains would be suspended.

“We will be confirming details of a temporary timetable later this week,” they said. “The timetable recognises that the present level of service has not been acceptable and will aim to give passengers a more predictable service they can plan around. This will be a temporary measure until train crew availability levels return to normal.”

Cash and Dyan Crowther, the chief operating officer of GTR, will both appear before the Transport Select Committee tomorrow morning to give evidence on the Southern disruptions. For a full report on the hearing, see RMT’s website.

(Image c. Dominic Lipinski from PA Wire)

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Jason   05/07/2016 at 09:20

A predictable service or trying to stop losing money to Delay Repay claims for cancelled services? I know that commuters in the south are fed up with both Southern and the RMT. We just want a reliable service and the arguments from both sides are wearing thin

Jak Jaye   05/07/2016 at 12:45

This disgrace of a TOC who couldnt run a bath ! and all the while McBumble sits around doing nothing but cadge free rides on foreign built rubbish,he surely is THE most useless Transport Minister we have had in recent years

Nonsuchmike   07/07/2016 at 13:14

This state of affairs is reprehensible of both parties, but more so for the TOC who have consistently declined to employ more than a minimum number of train drivers and do things on the cheap. As always the public suffer; if this was a real company competing against others it would go bust, but the silly state of affairs under the current government means that there is NO competition along their routes and so no incentive for them to find a compromise as the only people to whom they are answerable are their Directors and shareholders intent solely on earnings per share and thus larger dividend payouts. If I could wave my magic wand, then there would be two TOCs per area plus open access for others who want to run specific routes, but that will not occur until we get a more joined up railway with more rails on the ground and more trained drivers.

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