Southern Rail disruption: enough is enough

06 January 2017

More than eight in ten Southern Rail passengers have been disrupted by strike action.

New research, published today, by the independent watchdog for Britain’s rail passengers lays bare the effect industrial action is having on Southern passengers’ lives.

Following the Office of Rail and Road’s report into driver-only operated trains and with passengers facing further disruption next week Transport Focus is calling for all parties in the dispute to sit around the table to bring the services back to normal.

Anthony Smith, chief executive of the independent watchdog Transport Focus, said:

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

“Britain has a relatively safe rail network and no one wants to see that track record tarnished. Driver-only operation on trains is used on many parts of the railway and on all the London Underground network.

“The unions have specific concerns about the way driver-only operation is being introduced on Southern services. The rail safety regulator published a report yesterday on this issue. Surely this provides the basis for moving forward and reviewing the need for industrial action?”

One Southern passenger responding to the survey said:

“I don’t care anymore who is in the wrong or right – commuters are the ones being punished.”

Another passenger said:

“These strikes have been going on for over six months, and it’s just frustrating that there has been no solution in all of that time. I don’t understand how it has been allowed to continue on for this long at great disruption to the passengers.”

Notes to editors

Southern Rail industrial action Transport User Panel survey can be found here.

Click here to read Transport Focus chief executive’s latest blog on the impact of the strikes on passengers.

Transport Focus used its Transport User Panel to survey over 631 Southern passengers.

Surveys were conducted online between 12 and 19 December 2016.

For further information please contact press office on 0300 123 2170.

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