A strike by conductor members of the RMT Union will bring rail services on the Uckfield Line to a halt.
The union has announced three strikes:
- From 11am on Tuesday April 26, to 10.59am on April 27
- and for 24 hours from 11am on May 10 and again for 24 hours from 11am May 12.
Train operator Southern said the strike would have a significant effect on Southern services on the whole of the days affected, with no service on many routes and only a limited service between approximately 07.30 and 18.00 on others.
It has listed the Uckfield to Oxted route as one where it no trains will operate in either direction.
It is planning a limited service from East Grinstead.
Revised services will operate on the Brighton Mainline. Thameslink services are expected to run as normal.
No replacement buses or taxis will be provided.
The reduced service will operate all day on the dates affected.
Services which do run are likely to be extremely busy, said Southern, which advised allowing longer for a journey, avoiding peak times and to avoid planning to travel on the last trains of the day.
“if you are unable to board services we will not be able to arrange alternative transport,” the company 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 dispute is over Southern’s plans to change the role of conductors to “onboard supervisors” with responsibility for door opening and closing passing to drivers.
(This story was first published on Friday, April 22, 2016)
Comments from Uckfield News readers
Owen Hoy says in an email received on Tuesday, April 26:
“Your article once again highlights the appalling service which Uckfield residents have to endure on a daily basis with Southern Rail.
“If it is not constant delays, terminations and cancellations, then it is closure of the line for improvement works but this latest saga just beggars belief and frankly is the last straw for many.
“My wife pays £273.10 a month for the privilege of travelling in cattle class to and from London Victoria daily and whilst I appreciate the plight of the guards who currently operate the train doors and work on this route, this is not the way forward and the only people suffering yet again are the loyal and paying public.
“It is a complete and utter disgrace and Southern Rail should be ashamed of themselves. They could have least put on a replacement bus service to Haywards Heath on the affected days to alleviate the pressure.
“As a result of this dispute I will now not see my wife until Thursday evening as she left home for work at 06.50 am yesterday morning knowing that she would have to make arrangements to stay in London for three nights at her own expense, but will Southern Rail reimburse these extra expenses? Of course not.
“Julie does currently have the capability of working from home every Friday but she cannot justify extra working from home days with her senior management. She works for the Head of The Troubled Families Unit within the Department for Communities and Local Government and thus needs to be in the office on certain days in order to support him.
“Shame on you Southern Rail.”