England

Southern railway strike: Passengers' reaction

#SouthernStrike tweet Image copyright Twitter
Image caption Passengers have taken to Twitter to comment on the Southern strike

As a 24-hour strike hits Southern services, passengers have taken to social media to comment on how their journeys have been affected.

The dispute is over the introduction of driver-only-operated (Doo) trains by Southern on its services in Kent, Sussex and Surrey.

Richard Westcott, the BBC's transport correspondent, said: "It's where the driver is asked to close the doors at stations, instead of the on-board conductor (guard).

"Drivers have CCTV in the cabs to check people are clear of the doors, but the unions say it's still not safe and passengers will get hurt."

Image copyright Twitter

Southern posted on its website: "The strike will have a significant effect on Southern services on the whole of the day affected, with no service on many routes and only a limited service between approximately 07:30 BST and 18:00 BST on others, although we will extend the service hours if we are able."

The train operator has issued a revised limited timetable, and said some commuters had been expected not to travel during the disruption.

Image copyright Twitter
Image caption Katy Bourne, the police and crime commissioner for Sussex, tweeted as she made the journey to London on a crowded train.

Katy Bourne, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Sussex, was one of many people to take to Twitter as they made their journeys to London on Southern's routes.

BBC South's transport correspondent, Paul Clifton, said Govia Thameslink - which operates Southern - carried 620,000 passengers a day, adding: "This dispute is messing up countless lives now, not just on strike days.

"Yesterday, again, dozens of services were cancelled because there weren't enough staff to run all the trains."

Some passengers reported improvements to their usual journeys, including posting photos of empty train carriages.

Image copyright Twitter
Image caption Some passengers reported journeys running early
Image copyright Twitter
Image caption Other passengers said train services were running "better" during the strike

Operator Govia Thameslink (GTR) earlier said the strikes were "completely unnecessary" and called on RMT members to "think again and put passengers first".

"We plan to run around 60% of our normal train service today. That's 1,360 trains - we usually run 2,242," a Govia Thameslink spokesman said.

Image copyright Twitter
Image caption Richard French decided against letting the train take the strain and took to the roads instead

Southern said 90% of its services into London Bridge and 87.5% of services into London Victoria had arrived on time between 06:00 BST and 09:00 BST.

Some of those passengers seemed to be making the most of the extra time spent completing their journeys.

Image copyright Twitter
Image caption Chris Philpot used the train delays to complete his crossword puzzle

The RMT union's general secretary, Mick Cash, said: "Our members on Southern are rock solid in support in support of the action this morning in the right to stop the basket-case GTR franchise from ripping apart the safety culture on our railways in the drive for ever-fatter profits."

He said the union was receiving "brilliant support from passengers on the picket lines and social media".

Humour was rife on Twitter, including those poking fun at Southern.

Image copyright Twitter
Image caption Gary Miller's son may also be affected by the strike
Image copyright Twitter

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