Rail union says changes to timetable are ‘pitiful’

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Southern Railway is to restore more train services next week and has issued a fresh apology to passengers for disruption caused by an industrial dispute and staff shortages.

The operator announced it will reinstate the full timetable from Tonbridge and Reigate to Redhill and London Victoria/London Bridge next Monday, and restore the full service between Redhill and London.

Inner London and West London line services were reinstated last week, and more services will be added in the coming weeks.

Alex Foulds, Southern’s Passenger Services Director, said: “I want to apologise again to our passengers who have suffered ever since the RMT began their unnecessary action against our plans to improve customer service on our trains.

“The temporary revised weekday timetable has been delivering a more consistent, reliable service. Now, as promised, we are steadily reintroducing trains and will continue to do so until the entire timetable is back in place.”

A temporary timetable with a reduced service was introduced in July following a spate of strikes in a long-running row over the role of conductors, and ‘unprecedented’ levels of train crew sickness.

Mick Cash, General Secretary of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union said: “These are pitiful changes to the Southern timetable, and the fact that passengers are still paying through the nose for a vastly reduced service is solely due to the gross managerial incompetence and profiteering of this basket-case rail operator.

“Yet again, Southern are blaming their staff for their own systemic failures while the parent company is sitting on profits of £100million.

“The fact that they are still unable to run the service the taxpayer is paying for, and the fact that the Government are letting them get away with it, is a national disgrace.”

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