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SWR staff start 5 day strike

Disruption for passengers travelling to London Waterloo from Devon.

Rail replacement buses will run between Exeter St Davids and Honiton. Or you can board a train at Exeter Central, but there's a reduced service all the way to the capital. Get the latest information from National Rail here

To view the map of the whole network click here.

The RMT Union industrial action starts today and will continue until Saturday (22nd June).

In Pinhoe, there's added disruption because of roadworks. So replacement buses are picking up at the bus stop on Church Hill. 

Guards and drivers will be taking part in the strikes after a long running dispute. 

RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said: "RMT members are standing rock solid again this morning on South Western Railway in the long-running fight for safety, security and access on our trains while the private train company sends out the signal that it is prepared to gamble with their passengers well-being in the name of profit.
 
"RMT has campaigned relentlessly for the principle of putting safety on the railway first and the current stalemate over the safety-critical role of the guard on SWR trains  cannot be allowed to drag on any longer .
 
“Our members have been left with no choice but to go ahead with strike action throughout this week. They are angry and frustrated that despite suspending action in good faith, and entering into talks in a positive and constructive manner, South Western Railway have dragged their heels and failed to bolt down an agreement that matches up to our expectations on the guard guarantee. 
 
"We thank the public for their continuing support and understanding that this dispute is all about safety, access and passenger service on Britain's increasingly violent and dangerous railways."

A South Western Railway spokesperson said: "It’s very disappointing that despite having had dates in the diary for what we hoped would be further constructive talks, the RMT union decided to call disruptive strike action over the course of five days. Only this week, we met with the union and agreed to arrange new dates to get around the table and continue those talks. However, they seem insistent on going ahead with their unnecessary strike next week which will impact our customers and colleagues alike. Clearly, they have decided to target popular events such as Royal Ascot with this cynical action which is driven by internal RMT politics.

"The RMT has always said it wanted us to keep the guard on every train which is what we have offered as part of a framework agreement. We want to move the conversation on to how we operate our new trains and take advantage of the new technology on board to benefit our customers. We remain committed to finding a solution that will help us build a better railway for everyone. We will do everything we can to keep customers moving during these strikes but would like to apologise for the disruption this unnecessary action will cause.

"Passengers are strongly advised to plan their travel in advance as services are likely to be busier than usual because of the strike action. Rail replacement services and ticket acceptance on other bus and rail networks have been organised where possible, whilst fans attending events at Twickenham, Hampton Court, Royal Ascot, and elsewhere, are advised to allow extra time for their travel."

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