England

Southern rail hit by RMT union strike over safety row

The RMT union is waiting for 'meaningful talks' Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Southern said a limited service will run between Clapham Junction and Watford Junction at peak times

Rail passengers are facing disruption amid a 24-hour strike in a dispute over driver-only operated trains.

Southern rail is running reduced and limited services during peak times on the West London line, between London and Guildford, and Brighton and Hove.

The RMT union is taking action while it awaits "meaningful talks" over staff safety on the rail firm's services.

Southern said the vast majority of services are unaffected but advised passengers to check before they travel.

Image copyright @RMTunion
Image caption RMT Picket line at Victoria Station earlier

The walkout - which runs until midnight - is the latest in the dispute, which has been ongoing for nearly two years and includes the guarantee of a second safety-critical member of staff on Southern services.

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: "RMT pays tribute to our Southern rail guards and drivers who have stood firm for nearly two years now in the fight for rail safety.

"The union remains ready and waiting for genuine and meaningful talks with all parties."

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Passengers took to twitter to air their frustration, on both sides of the dispute.

A spokesperson for Southern said: "We expect to run a normal service on most routes.

"Only a week before this announcement, the RMT rejected proposals we made about the basis for finding a settlement and we renew our call for the union to end this pointless dispute.

"The RMT should face the reality that the changes they are objecting to were successfully introduced a year ago."

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