Strike action set to disrupt East Devon train services

PUBLISHED: 16:42 25 November 2019

South Western Railway Network map strike summary for Monday, December 2 to Thursday, January 2. Picture: South Western Railway

South Western Railway Network map strike summary for Monday, December 2 to Thursday, January 2. Picture: South Western Railway

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Rail travellers in East Devon are facing more disruption with 27 days of strike action planned next month.

South Western Railway (SWR) has today (Monday, November 25) published its weekday timetable for December, providing customers with details of the services they can expect during the industrial action by the RMT Union.

SWR - which operates trains between Axminster, Honiton and Cranbrook - plans to run around more than half of its weekday service, providing longer trains to maximise capacity and more staff to help keep them running.

The strike action is part of the RMT's on-going dispute over the provision of guards on trains.

A SWR spokesman said: "SWR has previously announced the promise that it will keep a guard on every train in a safety critical role to help customers, meaning the action by the RMT is unnecessary.

"All that SWR is asking is that guards work with them to provide a modern, efficient train services that customers need and want.

"While the RMT Union has informed SWR that they will not be striking on (election day) December 12, owing to the prolonged nature of the strike it will not be possible to provide trains and crews in the correct locations to operate a normal timetable.

"As a result, there will also be an amended timetable on that day.

"We know this strike will make travelling more difficult and services will be busier than normal. We share your frustration and want you to know we're doing everything possible to keep customers moving during this unnecessary RMT strike action.

"Customers can expect a similar number of peak services to previous strikes. However, they should be aware that last services will be earlier than normal.

"We encourage customers to check our website southwesternrailway.com/strike for the latest travel information.

"Our train planners are now working hard on the weekend and festive period timetables. Details will be updated on our website and via @SW_Help."

RMT's Mick Cash told The Herald: "The disruption forecast by SWR would be wholly avoidable if the company agreed to further talks with the union around the crucial issue of maintaining passenger safety and accessibility at the platform train interface during the despatch process. Our action is solely about protecting the passenger."-

** Timetables for weekday train services from December 2 to 20 are now available online at southwesternrailway.com/strike

Customers are encouraged to check before travelling for the duration of strike action.

No services will operate on Christmas Day and Boxing Day as normal.

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