Much maligned for their woeful record of delayed and cancelled services, Southern Railway have now been forced to implement an “emergency timetable”, cutting 341 trains.
Blaming a severe staff shortage due to the “high level of conductor sickness”, Southern say that their services have been “severely affected”.
Many services including inward and outbound trains to London Victoria have been cancelled for “part or all of their journey.”
Passengers have recently been complaining that the franchise’s major delays and cancellations have led to punitive outcomes at their places of work, with some people claiming to have lost work due to repeated tardiness as a result of the poor train service.
According to latest figures by the Office of Rail and Road, with 1 in 20 cancellations, Southern rail owners, Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), had the worst record of any service provider.
Rail, Maritime and Transport Union (RMT) has described the “emergency timetable” as “crisis management”, adding that the rail company was “now in terminal meltdown.”
In an attempt to resolve its ongoing dispute with GTR, the union have offered to suspend their industrial action.
Strikes were threatened after plans were introduced by GTR to remove conductors from trains, which the RMT believe would potentially “endanger passengers.”
In a letter to Charles Horton, GTR’s Chief Executive, RMT General Secretary, Mick Cash, has said, “the RMT will suspend calling any further industrial for the next three months if you will also suspend your proposals for a similar period.”
Explaining that “this will then allow us the time and space to sit down together and try and explore options that will seek to deliver the lasting improvements to service and reliability we all want.”