And more strikes on the way
As staff at South Western Railway strike again from midnight tonight (Thursday 30th August), the safety regulator has confirmed a number of safety breaches during previous strikes.
The Office of Rail and Road says during the 11 days of industrial action so far, there have been 18 incidents.
They include doors opening on the wrong side of the train and trains stopping short of the platform and doors still opening.
The RMT union says the company bought in untrained and inexperienced staff and these incidents could have had potentially disastrous consequences. They want to negotiate with SWR about the role of guards.
A South Western Railway spokesperson said: "Our contingency guards are fully trained for the duties they carry out during periods of RMT strike action. This training was verified both internally and by an independent safety advisor. Any operational incidents involving contingency guards are being investigated in exactly the same way as when they happen during normal service. The number of incidents which has occurred during periods of industrial action is not materially different to that during normal operations."
"That aside, our focus is on finding a way to resolve the RMT's dispute which is why we are urging them to call off these strikes and work with us to find a solution.”
The workforce at South Western Railway will be striking again for 72 hours from midnight tonight. Replacement buses will be running between Exeter St Davids and Yeovil Junction. Updates here. More are planned for the next 2 Saturdays (8th & 15th September).