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South Western Railway Warns of Reduced Timetable from Monday

Published on: 6 Aug, 2023
Updated on: 8 Aug, 2023

South Western Railway (SWR) is reminding customers of industrial action next week, from Monday to Saturday, August  7 to 12.

A ban on overtime working by the ASLEF union will mean that a reduced timetable will operate. Customers are advised to check before travelling, with journey planners through to Friday 11 August now up to date.

Three large events will take place on the SWR network with the Boomtown festival in Winchester (Wednesday 9 to Sunday 13) and both the England v Wales Summer Series rugby fixture at Twickenham and the Shergar Cup event at Ascot racecourse (both Saturday, August 12).

Customers heading to these events are advised to travel early with services expected to be very busy. A limited number of additional services will operate following the England v Wales match at Twickenham, however, customers are advised that long queues are expected.

Journey planners for Saturday, August 12 will be updated in the coming days and customers are advised to check before travelling. On the Isle of Wight Island Line, one train per hour will run.

A normal Sunday service will operate on Sunday, August 13, including on the Island Line, however, customers are advised to check before travelling as engineering work will take place and a small number of train services will be cancelled due to industrial action the day before.

Stuart Meek, South Western Railway’s chief operating officer, said: “Customers should check before they travel next week as another overtime ban by the ASLEF union will, unfortunately, mean another reduced timetable. Customers heading to some of the events on our network should consider travelling earlier if they can as we expect services to be very busy.

“We have worked hard to provide additional services for the England v Wales rugby fixture at Twickenham on Saturday, however, customers should be mindful that a queuing system will be in place at Twickenham station for their return journeys and that we do expect long queues.

“We are sorry for the disruption that our customers continue to face and thank them for their patience.”

Mick Whelan, ASLEF’s general secretary, said: “We don’t want to take this action. We don’t want people to be inconvenienced. But the blame lies with the train companies, and the government which stands behind them, which refuse to sit down and talk to us and have not made a fair and sensible pay offer to train drivers who have not had one for four years – since 2019 – while prices have soared in that time by more than 12 per cent.

“We want a resolution. A fair resolution. That’s why we are taking this action, to try to bring things to a head. Then I can concentrate on my day job working with others in the industry to rebuild Britain’s railways for passengers, for business, and for this country.”

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