Amber Rudd urges Southern Rail and unions to bring an end to ‘miserable period’ of Christmas strikes

Rail union Aslef planning three days of industrial action this week

Catherine Wyatt
Monday 12 December 2016 10:48
Stranded commuters at London Victoria railway station
Stranded commuters at London Victoria railway station

Home Secretary Amber Rudd has hit out over “this miserable period” of rail strikes that are set to cause Christmas chaos.

Members of rail union Aslef have planned three days of strikes this week - a move the Hastings and Rye MP called “totally unacceptable”.

The strikes will halt all Southern Rail's services, disrupting the 500,000 passengers who use the service every day.

“It is totally unacceptable that our local area and communities will suffer further strikes over driver-only operated trains when they already run safely across much of the UK network, and when current staff will take home the same pay following the changes proposed by the train company,” the Daily Telegraph reported Ms Rudd as saying.

“Southern's plans, opposed by the unions, will lead to better journeys for passengers. I call on both sides to come together and bring an end to this miserable period of strikes and industrial action suffered by our constituents.”

A High Court ruling last week refused an injunction to prevent the strike by Aslef - a ruling which Southern's owners have lodged an appeal against.

Charles Horton, chief executive of Govia Thameslink Railway, said: “Our passengers have suffered months of travel misery and we call again on the unions to call off their action and work with us to find a resolution to their dispute.”

Drivers from Aslef and the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) are due to strike on Tuesday December 13, Wednesday December 14 and Friday December 16, and for six days in January.


Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments