Southern has issued its bleakest warning yet, as a series of industrial actions threaten to disrupt services 'significantly' in the runup to Christmas, describing the forthcoming walkouts as 'wholly unnecessary and unjustified'. The RMT, on the other hand has called for 'this basket case of a franchise' to be terminated. An indefinite overtime ban by ASLEF drivers starts tomorrow, coinciding with the first of three days of strikes by RMT conductors in the continuing driver-only operation dispute.
ASLEF calls drivers' strikes on Southern
Drivers on Southern belonging to ASLEF are to stage their first strikes in the DOO dispute, including a week-long walkout in the New Year. Govia Thameslink Railway has warned that the new stoppages will have a 'devastating impact' on the economy in the south east of England, while ASLEF's general secretary said he saw 'the DfT's fingerprints all over this dispute'.
New DOO walkouts disrupt Southern services
The first of more strikes by conductors on Southern is under way today, and there seems to be little sign of a peace settlement between Govia Thameslink Railway and the RMT. The RMT said the response to its latest action has been 'rock solid and determined', while GTR said 62 per cent of its services were running. Commuters have tweeted angry messages, describing 'rammed' trains once again. More walkouts are planned between tomorrow and 2 January.
New speed restrictions following tram crash
The Rail Accident Investigation Branch has issued urgent advice to Transport for London following the fatal crash east of Croydon town centre on 9 November, in which seven people died in an overturned tram and 51 were hurt, eight seriously. The interim report reveals that the tram was travelling approximately three and half times faster than the 20km/h speed limit through the curve at Sandilands Junction. The driver was arrested after the accident on suspicion of manslaughter, and he has since been bailed pending further police enquiries. A witness appeal has been launched.
Network Rail promises ‘careful review’ of viaduct report
A safety review may follow a report into the failure of Lamington Viaduct on the West Coast Main Line which revealed that a safety system monitoring over 100 bridges in Scotland had lapsed, following organisational changes. Network Rail has promised a 'careful review' of findings published by the Rail Accident Investigation Branch.