NYE Train Strike Messes Up People's Party Plans

By Holly Brockwell on at

There's nothing more British than public transport entirely failing on the biggest days of the year, so it's not terribly surprising that there's a strike on the South Western Railway today.

SWR workers who are part of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT, as it's better known) walked out at midnight, and SWR trains will be FUBARed all day as a result.

The strike is part of an ongoing argument about guards on trains. Here's RMT's video explaining their position:

The strike will result in reduced services across Southern England, including London's busiest station, Waterloo. There will apparently be some rail replacement buses, which as we all know are about as useful as plugging a dam with a sock. Other routes will apparently "not have a train service or a replacement bus service." Super!

RMT's General Secretary Mick Cash comments:

"RMT members are standing united and determined again this morning on South Western Railway in the long-running fight for safety, security and access on our trains while the private train company gambles with their passengers' well-being.

As violence and sexual assaults have once again been in the spotlight over the festive period on Britain's dangerous railways this is no time to be taking risks in the interest of profit.

RMT has made it clear that the union will step up the fight for secure and accessible rail services for all while SWR are openly planning a New Year assault on the entire safety culture.

RMT has campaigned relentlessly for the principle of putting safety on the railway first and the current stalemate over the guard guarantee cannot be allowed to continue into the New Year as it makes a mockery of normal industrial relations and the negotiating process.

We thank the public for their continuing support and understanding that this dispute is all about safety and passenger service on Britain's increasingly violent and dangerous railways."

Strong words.

Meanwhile, South Western Railway says:

"The RMT continues to play politics with their ongoing strike action, causing misery at a time when people just want to be with friends and family or get to work. If the union really cares about passengers it should call off these strikes and start helping to build a better railway.

We have guaranteed to roster a guard on every train - we are employing more, not fewer guards. We remain focused on running services and delivering the improvements our customers deserve including investing £1.2billion over the course of the franchise.

We will do everything we can to keep customers moving and reduce disruption whenever the RMT strikes."

Affected services include Basingstoke to Waterloo and Waterloo to Reading. There are full details here, make sure you check before you set out to your fancypants NYE party so you don't get stranded. Train platforms are not a nice place to sleep, even when hammered on nightclub cava.

Main image: RMT