Rail workers involved in a lengthy series of strikes will go back to work for one day on General Election Day, but services will remain disrupted.
Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union are walking out for 27 days between today and New Year’s Day, threatening travel chaos for commuters and Christmas shoppers.
Passengers have been warned that only around half of services are running, including those to and from London Waterloo, the country’s busiest railway station.
An SWR spokesman said: “The rail network requires enough trains to be in the right locations to run a full service. Given the first phase of the RMT strike ends the day before and recommences the day after, we will not have time to move the trains in order to operate a normal timetable on December 12.
“As a result, the amended timetable will continue to run and this is available on our website.
“We are doing everything we can to deliver a consistent service and ensure we get as many customers moving as possible on Thursday.”
The union has put forward proposals it believes could resolve the row, saying the dispute now centres on guards having a few seconds to ensure the safe dispatch of trains.
The company has pledged to have guards on trains, but it wants them to have more time to help passengers such as those in wheelchairs or with buggies.
South Western Railway workers previously held a four-day walkout in August over the dispute over guards on trains, hitting services on some of the busiest routes in the country.
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