Southern Rail Update: Industrial Relations and Waterloo

Update from GTR's COO Nick Brown:

Industrial Relations

I am pleased to report that we continue to progress talks with drivers’ union ASLEF aimed at resolving our dispute on Southern. We met with them earlier this week and agreed to continue a structured talks process over the next two weeks. These talks will cover modernisation, terms and conditions, and pay, and are aimed at reaching a comprehensive settlement that covers all these issues.

We also have talks scheduled with the RMT for Monday.

I would like to reiterate our resolve to reaching a resolution, and call on the trade unions to play their part in delivering a modernisation programme that is necessary to increase capacity on this, the most congested part of the UK's network, where passenger numbers have doubled in as little as 12 years. That requires modernisation of infrastructure, trains and working practices. The changes we introduced in January contributed to the significant improvement in performance experienced since then, and we are determined to ensure that passengers get the benefit of all the transformation work that has been and continues to be delivered.

Severe disruption this morning

I share the frustration that will be held by you and the people you represent with the poor service this morning, particularly on our Southern Metro and Uckfield Line. Early this morning there were multiple signalling failures that impacted five of the points at our depot in Selhurst, preventing trains from entering into service, resulting in some cancellations and delays.

The depot returned to full operation by lunchtime. Network Rail will complete additional upgrades tomorrow morning.

Waterloo upgrade works

I would also like to remind you that between 5 and 28 August major route upgrade works will be taking place at London Waterloo. As a consequence of this, there will be a reduced northbound Southern service at Clapham Junction during the evening peak, and many Southern and Thameslink services will be busier. For further information please visit www.southernrailway.com/your-journey/plan-your-journey/waterloo-and-south-west-upgrade/