Since October 2016, Southern rail has been hit by several crippling strikes, which have affected passengers traveling between south England, south-east England and London.
Although strikes are not uncommon in the United Kingdom, the action by Southern rail workers has been described as one of the longest running disputes in the British rail history. During the last three month a dozen of strikes have been being held, with more possibly to come in 2017.
While there is no end in sight to the current episode between the rail operator Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) and its workers, SAFEY has been keeping a close eye on the strike. SAFEY has sent alerts since October, 2016 for upcoming strikes, giving users time to plan for alternative routes.
More importantly, Southern is the main operator that runs train services between central London and Gatwick Airport, which is important information for travelers coming to the United Kingdom.
During the strike period, SAFEY sent out alerts to users about strike dates, duration, services affected, as well as alternative travel options. SAFEY also sent out information on revised strike dates as announced by the workers’ unions, namely Rail, Maritime and Transport Union (RMT), and Associated Safety of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen (ASLEF).
Our advice to travelers:
- Check with Southern rail for regular updates.
- Consider alternative travel options, including those operated by other train operators.
- Readjust travel plans, if necessary.
More strikes are planned for January 2017, SAFEY will continue to monitor the situation, and update users when necessary.