Conductors call off 2 strikes to hold 1

But passengers are also being warned to expect disruption for the rest of the week - because of a lack of available conductors.

RMT members staged a 24-hour strike last week which disrupted services across southern England, and were due to walk out again next Tuesday and Thursday.

A union official said: ``We realise that this dispute may be prolonged. We therefore cancel the strike action called for Tuesday 10th May to Wednesday 11th May and for Thursday12th May to Friday 13th May.

``Instead, we instruct our members to take strike action by not working any shifts that book on between 0001 and 2359 on Friday 20th May.''

Meanwhile
 
Passengers travelling with Southern between Brighton and Southampton are being urged to check before they travel from 4 May and for what is likely to be the rest of the week because of a significant number of cancellations due to a lack of available conductors.
 
Chief Operating Officer Dyan Crowther said: “We are extremely disappointed and frustrated that, due to an unusually high level of sickness among some of our conductors and some others not working their normal rest days, we are unable to run the full service between Southampton and Brighton.
 
“We know this will come as an added blow after last week's conductors' strike by members of the RMT union.
 
“We’ve done our best for passengers by making these changes to a route where there are alternative services but we know it is going to be difficult. When our plans to evolve the role of conductor are implemented this type of cancellation and disruption to passengers will be vastly reduced.”
 
Virtually all the hourly direct services between Brighton and Southampton will be cancelled although Southern hopes to run some evening peak trains. Passengers are advised to take alternative services and change at Barnham for an onward train. They should also check before they travel at www.nationalrail.co.uk. Anyone who has been delayed by 30 minutes or more can claim compensation at www.southernrailway.com/delayrepay.

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