We are writing to update you on industrial action on the railway and its potential impacts in the Southern region.
As you may be aware, the RMT Union has given notice that strike action will take place on Wednesday 27 July 2022.
With further ballot results and potential strike action to be announced by the other two rail unions undertaking disputes, we are working with train operators and the RDG to ensure as many services are able to run during the strike action as possible, using contingency support.
We're incorporating insights from last month's strike action, including from Transport Focus, to ensure passenger assistance and information is consistent and clear, and that the strike timetable allows as much passenger and freight traffic to move as possible. However, the scale of action means that disruption is inevitable across the country, as schools break up for the summer and with holiday season in full swing. Once precise plans for the strike day are available, we will circulate further information.
Included below is a statement from Andrew Haines:
Responding to news of strike dates being announced by the RMT, Andrew Haines, Network Rail's chief executive, said:
"It is incredibly frustrating the RMT has again chosen to disrupt our passengers, and even more so that they haven't even put what was a fair and affordable two-year pay offer to their members. It is also deeply worrying that these strikes have clearly been designed to disrupt spectators heading to the opening of the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham on 28 July, an event of huge national significance.
"We have been clear that we can only fund an increase from our own budgets, and the only way we can afford that is by modernising working practices. The RMT's rejection of our latest offer can only mean they want a pay increase to be funded either by more taxpayer support or higher passenger fares, neither of which we think are fair.
"We urge the RMT to call this action off, get back round the table with us and show some willingness to compromise."
If you would like to discuss this further, please let us know and we will be able to arrange a briefing with you. You can contact us via Veronika.email@example.com or at SouthernRegionStakeholders@networkrail.co.uk if this would be valuable.
Hot weather travel advice
The Met Office has issued a red weather warning for extreme heat in the east of England, the Midlands and parts of the North West on Monday 18th and Tuesday 19th July with temperatures forecast to reach as high as 40°C in some areas, including London. An amber warning is in place across the rest of England, Wales and some parts of southern Scotland.
The currently forecasted temperatures will see the introduction of speed restrictions on railway lines across the country to ensure the safe running of trains. The impact on train services will vary by region, but journeys will take significantly longer and there is a high likelihood of cancellations, delays and last-minute alterations.
Passengers are advised to only travel if necessary on 18th and 19th July and to check before they travel at www.nationalrail.co.uk or with their train operators.
For more information on how Network Rail deals with the hot weather visit: www.networkrail.co.uk/how-we-prevent-tracks-from-getting-too-hot/.