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Limited Rail Services at Guildford Again When ASLEF Strikes – Union Leader Blames Government

Published on: 30 Nov, 2023
Updated on: 2 Dec, 2023

South Western Railway (SWR) and Great Western Railways have confirmed its services on days of national industrial and strike action in December.

Unlike previous rounds of ASLEF industrial action, the union will be striking on different days for different train operators across the industrial action period. There will be limited SWR services 7am to 7pm at Guildford on the ASLEF SWR strike day, Wednesday, December 6. [This date was originally given as December 3 in error. Our apologies.]

The union, which represents train drivers, will take industrial action from Friday 1 to Saturday, December 9, by refusing overtime, with SWR drivers taking strike action on Wednesday, December 6 when there will be an extremely limited service, with trains only running between London Waterloo and Basingstoke, Feltham, Woking, Guildford and between Basingstoke and Salisbury.

There will be no service on the Island Line and customers in areas such as Bournemouth, Exeter, Portsmouth, Reading, Southampton, Staines, Windsor and Yeovil will not be served by SWR trains.

Catch it while you can – a SWR train at Guildford Railway Station.

SWR customers are urged to only travel on December 6 if absolutely necessary and to check their entire journey carefully if they must travel.

Throughout the nine days, ASLEF has also instructed its members not to work any overtime, which will affect SWR from Friday, December 1st to Tuesday 5th and from Thursday 7th to Saturday 9th December. Check here for more details.

While SWR will be running a normal timetable on most of its network from Friday to Tuesday and on Thursday, there will be some cancellations. Customers are advised to check their full journey before travelling during these dates due to strike action occurring for other operators.

Customers can check now journey planners for days up to Thursday, December 7, services for the West of England are due to be up to date later in the week, with all other services accurate now.

Service levels for December 8 and 9 are being finalised and will be confirmed in due course, with journey planners for those days to be updated as soon as possible next week.

Great Western Railway which operates the Reading-Guildford-Gatwick service will also be affected over the period with very few services running on December 3 and on the GWR ASLEF strike day Thursday, December 7. Check here for more details.

Mick Whelan, ASLEF’s general secretary, said: “We are going on strike again not to inconvenience passengers, but to express our disgust at the intransigence of this government, and the bad faith shown by the private companies which employ us.

“It is clear that the Tory government does not want to resolve this dispute. We haven’t had a meeting with Mark Harper, the Transport Secretary, since December 2022. We haven’t had a meeting with Huw Merriman, the Rail Minister, since January this year. And we haven’t heard from the employers, the private sector train operating companies (TOCs) for whom we work, since April.

“We are prepared to come to the table and negotiate but the  TOCs – and the Tories that stand behind them in what is turning into a political, rather than an industrial, dispute, simply can’t be bothered. They are happy to see this dispute rumble on, for passengers and businesses to suffer, and to drive Britain’s railways – once the envy of the world – into a managed decline.”

Stuart Meek, Chief Operating Officer for South Western Railway, said: “We’re sorry that national industrial action will again impact SWR services for the first nine days of December.

“ASLEF will take strike action on Wednesday, December 6, meaning we will run an extremely limited service, and we must urge our customers to only travel if absolutely necessary on that day.

“During other days of industrial action, customers should check their entire journeys before setting off, as there will be some cancellations and drivers at other operators may be on strike.

“We know that this is a busy time of year as we approach Christmas, so we would like to thank customers for their continued patience and understanding.”

SWR are also reminding their customers that from Sunday December 10, SWR will begin operating a new timetable.


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Responses to Limited Rail Services at Guildford Again When ASLEF Strikes – Union Leader Blames Government

  1. David Smith Reply

    November 30, 2023 at 10:20 pm

    Not sure this is correct – there will be trains on the 3rd. The ASLEF strike is on 6th and even then there will be services from Guildford.

    Editor’s response: Thank you for pointing out our error article updated.

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