Posted 4th January 2017 | 1 Comment

Southern to deploy buses during strikes

STRIKES by drivers are set to go ahead on Southern during the second week of January in the continuing dispute over driver-only operation, but ASLEF has reduced the number of strike days from six to three, on 10, 11 and 13 January.

However, a further three strikes have also been announced from 25 to 27 January, a decision immediately condemned by Southern as ‘a cynical ploy to minimise the impact on pay packets’. However, ASLEF responded that Southern ‘has not been prepared to move – it is simply going through the motions’.

Drivers had already walked out between 13 and 15 December, bringing Southern to a standstill for three days, while peace talks arranged with ASLEF at ACAS on 14 December broke down. The RMT also protested because it had been excluded.

Meanwhile the RMT has continued its conductors’ strikes, most recently for three days from 31 December, while ASLEF has maintained its continuous ban on overtime and rest day working.

Southern said it would provide road links from nine stations using 200 buses during drivers’ strikes, but appealed to passengers not to make non-essential journeys. National Express would provide extra coaches between Brighton and London.

The disputes are damaging railway finances, while some observers fear they could be threatening the wider economy as well. Go-Ahead Group, which owns two-thirds of Govia, warned on 15 December that revenue from GTR is expected to be down by four per cent over six months, a loss which the Department for Transport will have to bear.

Reader Comments:

Views expressed in submitted comments are that of the author, and not necessarily shared by Railnews.

  • Roger Capel, Sheffield & Glossop

    Pity the Go-Ahead Brighton & Hove & GA London bus passengers who are now wondering what effect these 200 vehicles might have on their services!

    Or are GTR proposing to hire them in from outside? Either way, it's a massive operation.

    [Apparently, the buses would come from a number of sources in and around the Southern area.--Editor]