Train operators have urged people to only travel if absolutely necessary as 40,000 rail workers prepare to disembark in the latest in a series of strikes.
The Govia Thameslink Railway, which operates the Southern, Thameslink and Gatwick Express services, has warned there will be no trains running on many lines south of London this Saturday (October 1).
There will be no services to Seaford, Eastbourne, Hastings, Littlehampton or Bognor as only a limited number of trains operate between Brighton and Hove.
Services will also be affected on Sunday as trains start later in the day, impacting participants in this week’s London Marathon.
Pre-scheduled engineering works on October 1st will also halt trains between Brighton and Three Bridges whilst rail replacement buses operate.
Strike action will also take place on October 8 amid the ongoing wage dispute, which will cause further travel disruptions for commuters.
Angie Doll, Govia Thameslink Railway Chief Operating Officer, said: “It is with great regret that we have to advise our passengers not to travel on Saturdays 1st and 8th October unless absolutely necessary.
“Strike action means that train services across the country will be severely curtailed and many routes will not run at all.
“Services begin much later in the morning. We assume that our first trains will be very crowded. Therefore, if possible, arrive later in the day. Trains also finish as early as 4:30pm, so plan ahead if you absolutely must travel on those days.
“We are particularly concerned for the runners of the London Marathon, who have spent many months training for this special event in hopes of raising millions of pounds for charity, and for the spectators.
“Our trains don’t leave until around 7.30am this Sunday morning and many don’t reach central London until just before 9am. Only people making short journeys within London are likely to make it to the start on time.
“We urge unions to work with the industry and find a solution.”
RMT union general secretary Mick Lynch recently met with incoming transport secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan to try and settle the dispute.
While Mr Lynch said the meeting was a “step forward”, he said no progress had been made in breaking the impasse.
He said: “It just means she can tick a box. Nothing has changed. There was no result and we will continue our campaign.”
https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/22692041.southern-thameslink-advise-travel-ahead-strike/?ref=rss Southern and Thameslink advise against travel before the strike