Nus Ghani has sought assurances from Southern that they will schedule ten-car trains on the Uckfield line during strike days. Southern have also confirmed that they will increase the number of services running on the network during the week commencing 3rd July. A largely normal service will be running on the Uckfield line in the coming weeks, in spite of ASLEF’s continued industrial action, this time in the form of an overtime ban, due to begin on the 29th of June.
Train services on the 30th of June and the 1st of July will be the most affected by the industrial action, with a reduced timetable of trains running. The following website will be kept up to date with the latest information: www.southernrailway.com/dispute.
Commenting on the rail strikes, Ms Ghani said: “I am appalled that the unions continue to hold hundreds of thousands of passengers to ransom, with no justifiable cause. It is risible that ASLEF are commencing industrial action given the incredibly generous 24% pay rise they have been offered, which would amount to over £70k per annum. ASLEF have already accepted an identical pay deal for other drivers on parts of the Thameslink network and they have already agreed that they will drive trains with ‘Driver Controlled Operation’. Given this, it is baffling that industrial action is taking place and it proves that it has nothing to do with safety; rather, it is part of a deplorable politically motivated vendetta on the part of ASLEF.
Whist these disputes are ultimately for ASLEF and Southern to resolve, I can assure you that I am making every effort to limit the impact of industrial action on passengers and I am pleased to have helped to secure the debate on the Gibb report that is due to take place next week. Yesterday I met with the Secretary of State for Transport to discuss the situation and I am assured that the necessary provisions are in place to alleviate the effects of the overtime ban. In our meeting I also raised the possibility of the electrification of the Uckfield line and additional stabling at Crowborough. I will continue to press for these changes, as I did today in the chamber when I asked the Leader of the House, the Rt Hon Andrea Leadsom MP, to seek a statement from the Secretary of State for Transport regarding the electrification of the Uckfield line.