Date change for this week's Southern Rail strike

The date of the latest Southern Rail conductors' strike taking place this week has been brought forward.

It was due to happen on Friday, May 20, but will now take place this Wednesday, May 18, instead.

Southern Rail announced the date change and warned the strike will have a ‘significant effect’ on Southern services for the whole day.

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There will be no service on many routes and only a limited service between approximately 7.30am and 6pm on others, the rail operator said.

“Those travelling to stations between Crawley and Chichester, between Hove and Littlehampton/Bognor Regis, or between London Road (Brighton) and Eastbourne, your last connecting train from London may be as early as 16:30 (4.30pm),” a statement on Southern’s website said.

“Queuing systems will be in place at many stations that are open so you may have a long wait before you are able to board a train. Unfortunately we cannot guarantee to get you to your destination.”

The RMT union has switched the strike from Friday in response to what it called the ‘threatening and abusive’ stance the company is adopting, including setting a deadline of May 20 for staff to sign up to company plans to change the role of conductors.

It follows a similar 24-hour strike last month which saw huge amounts of disruption to the rail service.

The latest action comes after almost 500 Southern trains were said to have been cancelled in the wake of ‘unprecedented’ staff sickness levels as the row over working conditions continues.

It comes days after the Standard revealed that almost 500 Southern trains were cancelled in the space of a week due to “unprecedented” staff sickness levels as the working conditions row continues.

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