Rail firm wins injunction in Gatwick Express dispute

Govia Thameslink (GTR) has won an injunction against rail union Aslef after its members refused to drive new 12-car trains on the Gatwick Express service, the company has said.

Gatwick Express service. Photo by Jon Rigby.
Gatwick Express service. Photo by Jon Rigby.

The rail firm accused Aslef members of refusing to drive the first two services due to operate in the longer formation.

After the decision at the High Court in London, a GTR spokesperson said: “We are pleased the court has granted us an injunction that ASLEF must not induce our drivers to refuse to operate the new 12-car trains.

“Gatwick Express services have operated without conductors operating the doors for 17 years, so we were never able to understand why the ASLEF Union objected to the operation of these new trains in the same way.

“The new trains will offer significant benefits to passengers including a much better travelling environment. We plan that by June, 50 per cent of weekday services will operate with 12 cars and we will now commence their introduction into service.

“We took this action with great reluctance but were left with no alternative by the approach of the ASLEF Union.

“In respect of the other disputes presently ongoing, we hope this ruling today will influence the trade unions to come back to the negotiating table and avoid going ahead with any unnecessary and damaging strike action on this or any other issue.”

Aslef said it never reached an agreement for the new trains on the Gatwick Airport to London Victoria service and was planning to ballot its driver members employed on Southern and Gatwick Express for industrial action.

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