Train passengers travelling to and from Brighton and Hove are facing the prospect of strikes and disruption from three different groups of staff.
They should learn tomorrow (Tuesday 19 April) whether one group of railway staff – train conductors – will back a strike.
The RMT (Rail, Maritime and Transport) union has balloted 300 conductors over plans to turn them into onboard hosts.
Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) said that cameras in the driver’s cab mean that the driver no longer needs a conductor to know when to shut the train doors before setting off.
The RMT maintains that conductors are vital for safety.
ASLEF, the train drivers’ union, is also in dispute with GTR over longer trains on the Gatwick Express route.
The union backed the driver who would not let passengers on one of the new 12-car trains – the older ones have 10 carriages. He drove the route empty.
And plans to shut ticket offices at more than 80 stations, including Hove, has set the company on course for another possible strike.
GTR wants to encourage passengers to buy tickets online or from machines at the station with staff on the concourse to help and troubleshoot.
There is a possibility that the unions will co-ordinate strike dates for the maximum impact.
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