Rail strike to affect Kingston commuters

Kingston’s rail commuters will be impacted by a two-day strike by members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport Union (RMT).

Train services on Wednesday 8 and Thursday 9 November will be reduced by around a third across the South Western Railway (SWR) suburban network.

Fewer trains will run via Kingston, Surbiton, New Malden, and Worcester Park on both days, and although services via Berrylands, Malden Manor, and both Chessington stations are currently advertised as running as normal, all trains and stations are expected to be much busier than usual.

Queuing systems are likely to be in operation for passengers changing at Wimbledon and Clapham Junction, whilst London Victoria, London Bridge, and London Waterloo are expected to be much more crowded.

Click here for altered South Western Railway network timetables.

The RMT has called the strike over concerns about the role of train guards and driver-only operation on trains.

Mick Cash, RMT general secretary, said: “This is about putting the safety and security of the travelling public before the profits of private companies.

“It is disgraceful that we have been unable to get serious and meaningful talks going in any of these disputes and that points clearly to the dead-hand of the Government driving the faceless railway policy on purely ideological grounds and demanding that their contractors fall in line.”

In response, Andy Mellors, managing director at SWR, said: “We have made it clear to the RMT that we are guaranteeing jobs, salaries and the terms and conditions of guards. In fact, as we expand our fleet and services, we will be creating more jobs.

“It is therefore immensely frustrating that the RMT Executive chose to involve our employees and passengers in damaging strike action.”

Passengers are advised to plan their journey in advance and consider alternative travel arrangements where possible.

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