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New Warning to Guildford Rail Passengers As Further Strike Days Loom

Published on: 10 Aug, 2022
Updated on: 10 Aug, 2022

By Martin Giles

Another warning to rail passengers has been issued by South Western Railway (SWR) before more days of strike action by rail workers.

As on previous strike days, there will be no SWR services from Guildford, the nearst services to London running from Woking. Significant parts of the network will again be closed entirely and those trains that are running will be far less frequent and much busier compared to normal.

The rail company is urging customers only to travel by rail if absolutely necessary between Thursday, August 18 and Sunday, August 21 due to the planned industrial action.

A spokesperson said: “Customers should expect severe disruption on the network and, if they must travel on any of those days, should seek to do so by other means.”

On days following the strikes, Friday 19th and Sunday 21st, customers are also being urged only to travel if absolutely necessary. The first trains will start much later than usual across the network and are likely to be very busy.

Network Rail will provide contingency cover for critical roles including electrical control room operators, signallers, maintenance, and response teams, but will not be able to cover the whole day.

SWR’s reduced timetable will run from 07.15 to 18.30 on the August 18 and 20 strike days, and will consist of:

  • Four trains per hour in each direction between London Waterloo and Windsor & Eton Riverside via Hounslow
  • Two semi-fast trains per hour in each direction between London Waterloo and Basingstoke
  • Four trains per hour in each direction between London Waterloo and Woking
  • Two fast trains per hour in each direction between London Waterloo and Southampton Central

Trains will not stop at all the stations on these routes. There will be no SWR services across the rest of the network.

Transport for London underground and overground services will be affected by strikes all day on Friday 19 August, with some bus services disrupted on Friday 19 and Saturday 20 August. Connections with SWR services in London are likely to be impacted, or not run at all.

SWR will not be affected by the planned ASLEF strike action on Saturday August 13, but some other train companies will be, so customers should check before they travel.

South Western Railway’s commercial director, Peter Williams, said:  “Please only travel if absolutely necessary between Thursday 18 and Sunday 21 as strike action will severely impact our services. Those who must travel are urged to carefully check the times of first and last trains and seek alternative means of travel.

“The scale of the action will be incredibly disruptive for our customers with large parts of our network closed on strike days and a late start-up on the morning after each strike day. First trains will run much later than usual and are likely to be very busy, so please travel later in the day if you can.

“We are sorry that strikes will again cause such disruption. We are grateful to our customers for their continued cooperation, patience, and understanding as the rail industry works to bring this damaging nationwide strike action to an end.”

On July 28, RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “Network Rail has issued a statement to staff today that there is an unconditional pay offer available. This is a deception on the staff and is entirely untrue.

The offer they have made is entirely conditional on mass redundancies and changes to conditions and working practices that are not yet worked through and are subject to discussions with the trade unions.

“In tandem to this deception on pay, the company has started a formal consultation on 1900 redundancies, has withdrawn their offer of no compulsory redundancies and will impose detrimental working practices across the maintenance network.

“Rather than deceiving the staff about what they are actually proposing, the company now needs to get back round the table with RMT and work to resolve the issues in the dispute including their proposals for change and the union’s demands for job security and a decent pay rise.”

SWR is urging passengers to check the SWR website for the latest information.

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