South Western Railway

South Western rail strike: 'Please sort this out'

Today Programme

BBC Radio 4

South Western train

Four days of strikes have started on South Western trains today - trains that carry 100,000 passengers a day.

These strikes are taking place on the line that runs to London Waterloo from Berkshire, Surrey, Hampshire, Dorset, Devon and the Isle of Wight.

It's all part of a long-running dispute between South Western and the RMT union over the roles of guards on trains.

Anthony Smith, the chief executive of Transport Focus - the independent transport watchdog, told the Today programme: "Passengers will be dismayed to find themselves, yet again, as a pawn in this industrial dispute. This is the fourth wave of strikes.

"I think the message from passengers to the company and the union is 'Get back round the table [and] please sort this out'."

South Western has issued a revised timetable for the strike and Mr Smith says passengers can claim for compensation if a train is more than 15 minutes late against this new timetable.

"It's very important that passengers do that and make their voice heard," he says.

Railway line reopens

The line between Brockenhurst and Bournemouth has reopened following an incident earlier this morning.

Disruption is set to continue through the morning after South Western Railway had to cancel some services.

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Rail disruption between Brockenhurst and Bournemouth

All lines are blocked between Brockenhurst & Bournemouth due to emergency services dealing with an incident.

Trains running through these stations may be cancelled, delayed by up to 60 minutes or revised, South Western Railway says.

Disruption is expected until 12:00.