South Western Railway (SWR) customers are being discouraged from travelling to the coast later this week and into the weekend, with strike action set to cause severe disruption across the network.
While the fine weather might make a day trip to the beach an attractive prospect, SWR is urging its customers to only travel on the network if absolutely necessary between Thursday 18 and Sunday 21 August.
Due to the strike action taking place on Thursday 18 and Saturday 20 August, there will be severe disruption across the network, with large parts of the railway closed entirely.
Customers who need to travel during the strike period should seek to do so by other means.
Last week, SWR published its strike days service levels for Thursday 18 August and Saturday 20 August, which will provide a severely reduced service on the routes Network Rail has made available.
Due to the impact of the strike days, customers are also urged only to travel if absolutely necessary on Friday 19 and Sunday 21 August, when first trains will start much later than usual across the network and are likely to be very busy.
SWR’s reduced timetable will run from 07:15 to 18:30 on the 18 and 20 August strike days, and will consist of:
- Four trains per hour in each direction between London Waterloo and Windsor & Eton Riverside via Hounslow
- Two semi-fast trains per hour in each direction between London Waterloo and Basingstoke
- Four trains per hour in each direction between London Waterloo and Woking
- Two fast trains per hour in each direction between London Waterloo and Southampton Central
Trains will not stop at all the stations on these routes. There will be no SWR services across the rest of the network, with the exception of the Island Line, which is unaffected by strike action.
Anyone with day trips to London planned is also urged to check information about the industrial action on TfL services. London Underground and Overground services will be affected by strikes all day on Friday 19 August, with some bus services disrupted on Friday 19 and Saturday 20 August. Connections with SWR services in London are likely to be impacted, or not run at all.
SWR’s Commercial Director, Peter Williams, said, “We know that a combination of sunny weather and school holidays make a day trip to one of the brilliant beaches on our network a tempting prospect. That’s why we’re sorry to have to ask our customers to only travel if absolutely necessary over the forthcoming strike period.
“The scale of the action will be incredibly disruptive for our customers with large parts of our network closed on strike days and a late start up on the morning after each strike day. First trains will run much later than usual and are likely to be very busy, so if you have to travel, please do so later if you can.
“We are sorry that strikes will again cause such disruption. We are grateful to our customers for their continued cooperation, patience, and understanding as the rail industry works to bring this damaging nationwide strike action to an end.”