Read All About It (Part III) Emeli Sande
5 July 2016, 11:11
Southern Rail To Introduce Emergency Timetable to give passengers more certainty and match the level of staff they currently have. It comes after
Southern Railway have published a ``revised'' timetable following weeks of problems caused by industrial action and a shortage of train crews.
341 trains will be cancelled every day, see if your regular train is cut here
The company has blamed high levels of staff sickness for the daily travel chaos being suffered by passengers.
RMT general secretary Mick Cash said the emergency timetable will come into effect next week, adding: ``This latest savage attack on passenger services by GTR is nothing to do with staff sickness and everything to do with gross mismanagement of this franchise and the failure to employ enough guards and drivers to fill the current rosters and diagrams.
``The continuing attempt to blame the frontline workforce for this crisis is a cynical and cowardly ploy that will not wash with the travelling public.
``The solution of this failing, basket-case franchise is not axing more trains and attacking those trying to hold it together at the sharp end - it is the removal of Govia at the earliest possible point.''
The union and company officials will give evidence to MPs on the Transport Select Committee on Tuesday about the Southern chaos.
Mick Whelan, general secretary of the train drivers' union Aslef, said: ``If the company cannot deliver on its franchise commitments - and every day this company proves that it can't - then it's time for the company to hand back the keys.
``Because Southern is failing to deliver for passengers, letting down the Government - which is, curiously, turning a Nelsonic blind eye to what's going on - and selling the British taxpayer short. Morale among staff is, not surprisingly, at rock bottom.''
In evidence to the select committee, Aslef accused the Government of failing to take responsibility for the disruption to Southern's services.
The union said the push for driver only trains across the UK's rail network was being ``covertly driven'' by the Government.
A Transport Department spokesman said: ``We are clear that GTR passengers are not getting the service they deserve and the current situation is unacceptable.
``We are aware that GTR is considering some changes in order to strengthen their timetable in the face of ongoing disruption, so as many services as possible can run.
``When this happens, operators are contractually obliged to inform us in advance, but these decisions are taken only when there is no other solution, and this does not amount to the Government giving permission.''