Southern rail strike begins with no trains between Eastbourne and Ashford

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The five-day strike by Southern Rail staff began today (Monday, August 8), causing chaos for 1066 country commuters as none of its trains between Eastbourne and Ashford are running.

The RMT union called a five-day strike over the proposed changes to conductors’ roles, meaning drivers would operate the doors, which the union believes is unsafe.

Southern promised to run 60 per cent of its service but 1066 country was in the 40 per cent cut with some areas left with no trains whatsoever when the strike began at 12.01am.

Commuters in Rye, Three Oaks and Bexhill have no services at all and no replacement buses, which Huw Merriman MP said he was disappointed about.

There will be peak hours buses between Hastings and Ashford.

Stations with trains are experiencing major delays as thousands more commuters are forced to use those stations, such as Eastbourne and Brighton.

The Southeastern Rail line to London is still operating as usual but those wishing to travel along the coast are relying on buses and driving.

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “The strike action this morning is rock solid across the Southern rail network as we fight to put rail safety before the profits of the failed Govia Thameslink operation.

“This action has been forced on us by the arrogance and inaction of Govia Thameslink and the Government, who have made it clear that they have no interest in resolving this dispute or in tackling the daily chaos on Southern.”

This is the latest in a number of strikes by RMT members since April and the longest on the railways since 1968.

A Southern spokesman said: “We are very sorry that there is further disruption to services as a result of the RMT conductor strike action this week, which means our service is limited on many routes.

“Where we are not able to provide a train service we have worked with other train and bus operators and on our east coastway area, Southeastern is accepting our tickets on reasonable routes, and local buses have sought to provide additional capacity where possible on routes close to the train line.”

Are you affected by the strike? Or are you striking? Get in touch by calling 01424 856785, emailing hastings.observer@jpress.co.uk, tweet @HastingsObs, @BexhillObs, @RyeObs or @BattleObs, or Whatsapp photos to 07803 505879.

Southern rail strike: MP ‘disappointed’ at no replacement buses

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