Southern rail strike begins – live updates

Southern rail strike begins – live updates

8.33am BST

Victoria Station, Southern’s main terminus, was quieter than usual on Monday morning. Just a few hundred commuters stood waiting as the tannoy announced cancellation after cancellation “due to a shortage of train crew”.

“Southern are sorry for the delay this will cause to your journey,” the plum voiced announcer said unconvincingly (and ungrammatically) each time.

8.32am BST

RMT general secretary Mick Cash is blaming Govia Thameslink (GTR), Southern’s franchise operator, and the government for this week’s strike.

He 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.

8.31am BST

Southern rail’s CEO Charles Horton has been on the Today programme this morning saying he is “deeply sorry for the disruption to people’s lives” caused by the industrial action.

The RMT were “not prepared to compromise” despite three days’ mediation last week, he said.

8.21am BST

Commuter misery looms for thousands in the south-east, as a five-day strike hits the troubled Southern rail franchise.

A bitter dispute between Southern’s operators, Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) and the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union over plans to change the role of conductors and other job changes has led to the walkout, after talks with mediation service Acas collapsed.

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Source: Guardian Transport

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