Brighton and Hove commuters face more frustration as Southern train guards begin another strike

Posted On 19 Dec 2016 at 7:58 am

Commuters from Brighton and Hove face two more days of frustration as train guards begin another strike in their long-running dispute with Southern.

The 48-hour strike, by members of the RMT union, started at midnight and is due to end at midnight tomorrow (Tuesday 20 December).

It follows three days of strikes by train drivers belonging to the Aslef union last week. Aslef members are also due to strike for six days from Monday 9 January to Saturday 14 January.

The unions have said that the dispute is about the introduction of driver-only operation of the doors on new trains and whether this is safe.

Southern’s parent company Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) said that driver-only operation is safe and widespread on the railway network.

According to the Sunday Times yesterday (Sunday 18 December), RMT president Sean Hoyle said at a meeting in Brighton that he wanted to bring down the government.

The newspaper also reported a big financial bonus for the chief executive of the Go-Ahead Group, which runs GTR as a joint venture with the French firm Keolis.

It said that David Brown was paid more than £1.3 million in total including bonuses worth almost £670,000. Last year his total pay was £2.1 million although this year he waived almost £650,000 in bonus pay.

In a fortnight’s time fares for commuters are due to go up by almost 2 per cent although “delay repay” compensation now kicks in once trains arrive 15 minutes late rather than 30 minutes.

Yesterday the Labour leader of Brighton and Hove City Council, Warren Morgan, called for GTR to be stripped of its franchise while the Conservative MP for East Worthing and Shoreham, Tim Loughton, said that the franchise was too big and should be broken up.

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