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2017 - Southern Comfort - Not on Your Nellie

04 January 2017 | Updated 01 January 1970

Drivers on Southern Railways will take strike action on Tuesday January 10; Wednesday 11; and Friday 13. And on Tuesday January 24; Wednesday 25 and Friday 27.

In addition, an overtime ban continues.


Planning for the worst

Southern Rail has confirmed that none of its train services will run during the three-day ASLEF drivers' strikes. But it has announced it is putting in place a number of alternative measures to try to help those commuters who have essential travel needs.

The train operator is organising 200 coaches/buses each day to provide road links for essential travel from nine Southern stations (see below) into nearby neighbouring train networks where they can connect into other train operators' services.

Southern advises that capacity on the buses will be limited and journey times will take much longer. Ticket acceptance on other operators’ transport has been put in place (full list on

It is also advising people to work from home or remotely if they can, stagger journeys if possible and to only travel if it is essential and allow plenty of extra time for journeys.


Other measures include:

  • Thameslink services will continue to operate throughout each day.
  • The Gatwick Express will provide a reduced service every 30 minutes between Gatwick Airport and London Victoria.
  • Coach operator National Express is laying on extra services from Brighton to London throughout the week (
  • Details of car share schemes are being made available to passengers on Southern's website.
  • Southern says that to ensure public safety, crowd control measures will be in operation at all its stations where trains or buses will operate.

Angie Doll, Southern's Passenger Service Director, said: "There will be significant disruption and hardship next week caused by these pointless and unnecessary strikes. With this package of measures, we are putting in place a very limited number of alternative options to help people with essential travel needs get where they need to be. Unfortunately, there is no practical way we could replace 2,000-plus trains we run each day with buses but what we are doing is providing transport to link some passengers into other operators' stations where services are running normally.

"These buses will run from a small number of stations and space will be very limited, so we are asking those who don't need to travel, or who have a viable alternative, to leave the space for those who have no other option. Anyone who does travel should expect to queue, plan for longer journeys and realise the service they join will be exceptionally busy."


Buses will link:

  • Oxted with Sevenoaks (connect with Southeastern)
  • Uckfield with Tunbridge Wells via Crowborough (connect to Southeastern).
  • Eastbourne with Hastings (connect with Southeastern).
  • Bexhill to Hastings (connect with Southeastern)  Horsham to Dorking (connect with South West Trains)
  • Hastings to Ashford calling all stations (connect to Southeastern).
  • Chichester to Havant (connect with South West Trains).
  • Seaford to Lewes calling all stations (local service, no onward connection).
  • East Grinstead to Gatwick (connect to Gatwick Express).
  • Passengers are advised to check the Southern website for further details including how to claim strike compensation.

Article written by Brian Shillibeer | Published 04 January 2017


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