Rail operators warn of severe disruption ahead of strike Brighton News

RAIL passengers across Sussex have been told to avoid unnecessary travel with severe disruption expected from a nationwide strike next week.

Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), which operates Southern Rail, Thameslink and Gatwick Express services, has warned that there will be very few trains running each day from the start of industrial action until Sunday June 26, with a expected attendance on services.

There will be no service on many lines on strike days – including the Gatwick Express service, with late departures and early arrivals throughout next week.

The Argus: No Gatwick Express service will operate on strike days next weekNo Gatwick Express service will operate on strike days next week

Although GTR’s RMT members voted only for non-strike action, the operator depends on Network Rail signallers and engineers to keep its trains moving, and its services connect to many managed lines and stations by other operators whose staff take industrial action.

GTR Chief Operating Officer Angie Doll said: “We are sorry to say that people should only travel by train between June 21 and June 26 if absolutely necessary due to the strike by members of the RMT at Network Rail and other rail companies.

“Unfortunately, there will be very little train service and some lines will be completely closed on strike days.

“Services will start much later than normal and end early. All of this can lead to very busy trains and possible delays. Passengers should plan ahead and consider traveling at another time.

“The strikes are terrible for passengers, especially as the country begins to recover from the pandemic and return to rail. We urge the RMT to work with Network Rail and the rail operators to find a quick solution.

GTR has been in contact with schools, colleges and hospitals to inform them of the impact of the RMT strike.

The Argus: Thameslink services across Sussex will also be hit by strike next weekThameslink services across Sussex will also be affected by the strike next week

Mark Killick, Network Rail’s route director, said: “We are very sorry for the disruption over the next week and we know how difficult it will be for our customers so soon after the pandemic. We have trained 250 staff so we can keep some of the busiest lines open, focusing our resources on routes that can keep the most customers and goods moving and serving vital places such as hospitals.

“That said, we will not compromise on safety and the strike means that large parts of the network will be closed.

“We continue to work with the unions to find a solution and we will continue to do so. But we also need to be honest and accept that we need to change the way we work, to reflect changes in society and travel habits post-pandemic.

How will my trip be affected next week?

On strike days, a skeleton service of just 25% of normal services will operate, with significantly reduced operation based on a modified Sunday schedule in effect each day after a strike.

Crowds and delays are expected everywhere and train operators will not provide alternative options, such as replacement buses and accepting tickets with other train and bus operators.

The Argus: A map of GTR services operating on strike daysA map of GTR services operating on strike days

From Tuesday, trains will depart later and finish earlier, leaving and returning to depots from 7:15 a.m. to 6:45 p.m. on strike days and from around 7:15 a.m. to 11 p.m. each day after a strike.

Times for the first and last train vary considerably along each route, with the last train to Brighton from London being in the late afternoon.

On strike days, only two trains will run per hour between London Victoria and Brighton and between London Bridge and Brighton.

Two trains will run between Brighton and Hove on strike days only.

No Gatwick Express service will operate on strike days.

Train services from Brighton and Littlehampton, Bognor Regis, Portsmouth, Seaford and Eastbourne will not operate on June 21, 23 and 25,

On Wednesday June 22 and Friday June 24, services will be severely disrupted with a modified Sunday service in operation. On Sunday June 26, no trains will run before 7.15am, but a regular Sunday service will run after this time.

Train timetables for Southern and Thameslink services from June 21-26 will be available online from tomorrow and Saturday.

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This notice was published: 2022-06-16 15:30:00

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