Rail strikes upset weekend service

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The Independent Online
One in five trains at a private rail company which runs busy commuter services into London will be cancelled today because of industrial action by drivers.

Connex South Central, which operates services out of Victoria and London Bridge to Sussex, Surrey and Hampshire, said 334 trains will be cancelled because of an overtime ban from one minute past midnight on Friday by members of the drivers' union Aslef. A further 116 trains will be cancelled for part of their journey today. The disruption will be worse on Saturday when 435 trains will be cancelled - 30 per cent of the total timetable - and a further 179 will not complete their normal journeys. A complex penalty regime, experts claim, will mean that the cancellations could cost the company more than pounds 100,000 on Saturday alone.

The dispute centres on a restructuring deal involving pay and a shorter week, as well as on working practices.