City MPs are concerned by this week’s announcement that Southern Trains are introducing a revised timetable that will see the cancellation of 341 trains a day, including services between Milton Keynes and Clapham Junction.
Southern services have experienced many delays and cancellations in recent weeks due to staff shortages and strikes, following a row between the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) and parent company Govia Thameslink (GTR) over the introduction of more driver-only operated (DOO) services.
The timetable, which starts on Monday, was unveiled as managers faced MPs on the transport select committee, of which Iain Stewart MP is a member.
“I have already met with Southern rail recently to voice my concerns and will continue to raise these issues with the minister,” Iain said.
“This is an unnecessary political protest over the proposed extension of driver-only operated services, a concept that has been tried and tested in the UK for decades. Whilst the loss of services is only temporary, I hope that RMT will soon reconsider the unreasonableness of their actions and put the paying passenger first.”
Mark Lancaster MP added: “Our constituents and other Southern rail passengers are not getting the service they deserve and the current situation is unacceptable.
“This unwarranted strike action has led to changes that will cause disruption to commuters and potentially have a knock-on effect on businesses and productivity. I too will be contacting the minister to keep abreast of the situation and to discuss what can be done to have these services reinstated as soon as possible,” he said.