Tens of thousands train passengers are now in chaos as Southern Rail cancels a number of services. It also says that its London Victoria station hub will remain closed for the remainder of the week.
Due to Network Rail’s engineering works, lines in and out from Britain’s second-busiest station were closed over Christmas. Services were rerouted to London Bridge with a plan reopening in January.
Southern, however, has stated that there will not be any Southern Express or Gatwick Express service at London Victoria or Battersea Park until January 10, 2020, the first week of 2021.
Operator stated that there will be reduced services on all routes “until further notice” due to the ongoing coronavirus impact, which causes high levels of sickness in staff and self-isolation.
This is despite England’s Government cutting last week the requirement for self-isolation in England from ten to seven days, for people who had a negative lateral flow on day six or seven of their quarantine.
Southern announced that there would be no Gatwick Express service to London Victoria from Southern until January 10. (file photo)
Southern announced that all trains would run at different times and was cutting the service to give more control over trains and avoid cancellations.
Southern’s suburban trains heading to London from the suburbs will stop at Balham station, South London. During these weeks passengers must change on to the Underground’s Northern line in order to continue their journeys.
And the Gatwick Express, which only resumed three weeks ago after an 18-month closure due to the pandemic, has been suspended again – affecting those returning at the airport from a Christmas and New Year break abroad.
Victoria, the UK’s 2nd busiest station, was 13.8 million people in and out of it.
London Victoria station is visited by people on December 23rd. Southern won’t be going to serve it until January 10, however.
Current services still operate in Victoria via Southeastern trains to South East London, Kent.
CrossCountry advised customers not to travel on New Year’s Eve due to a strike of Rail, Maritime and Transport union members. It will be’very limited in time’.
The statement stated that customers should alter plans as possible to prevent travel on December 31st.
There will be no trains operating between the following locations: Aberdeen, Edinburgh; Glasgow Central or Edinburgh; Derby and Nottingham. Peterborough and Stansted. Cheltenham Spa, Cardiff Central. Newton Abbot. Paignton. Plymouth and Penzance.
There will be a ‘heavily discounted service’ between Edinburgh and Plymouth, Manchester Piccadilly or Bournemouth and Birmingham New Street and Peterborough.
Train managers and senior conductors are involved in the dispute over guards.
Southern was not the only one to cancel trains as a result of the pandemic.
There are Avanti West Coast (CrossCountry), Greater Anglia (London North Eastern Railway), Northern, ScotRail and TransPennine Express, as well Transport for Wales.
Southern has decided to stop London Victoria service. This means that it won’t serve Clapham Junction or Wandsworth Common, nor Battersea Park.
London Victoria’s planned resignalling works had already led to most Southern trains that were due to service the station from December 27 to January 3, being diverted to London Bridge.
It was chosen to be in the middle of low travel demand periods like Christmas.
Southern announced in a recent announcement that the disruption will continue for at least one week into 2022.
RMT employees at Gate Gourmet also strike Edinburgh Waverley on the New Year’s Eve in an ongoing dispute about bullying allegations.
Mick Lynch, RMT General Secretary said that the disruption in services resulting from the New Years Eve strike action was entirely due to greedy private railroad companies seeking to extract every penny by cutting safety, job quality and dignity at work.
The CrossCountry and Gate Gourmet members are standing for railroad workers. We expect to see a torrential attack on job, safety and wages in 2022.
“We are prepared for another year of action and campaigning on all fronts.”