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Anthony Smith, chief executive of the independent watchdog Transport Focus, has commented on the announcement that RMT members will hold 27 days of strike action:

“Yet more strikes are being dumped on passengers who may have to cancel Christmas holiday plans or endure miserable journeys to work. This dispute has dragged on for far too long and is damaging trust in the railway.

“Passengers have had enough of the on-going industrial action on South Western Railway services. They have faced lost time, money, more driving and deep frustration at not being able to rely on the trains.

“It is vital that the parties in this dispute get back around the table to resolve this matter without bringing the railway to a standstill.”

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