London commuters faced a second day of travel chaos as the latest round of train strikes stopped services between London and the south coast in Britain’s worst rail disruption for two decades. Hundreds of thousands of commuters struggled to get to work on Wednesday as drivers working for Southern Rail began the second day of a 48-hour stoppage over a long-running dispute about whose job it should be to open and close the train doors.
The opposing sides, Southern and the two unions, the RMT and Aslef, were due to meet for talks later in the day at the conciliation service Acas, ahead of further industrial action planned for Friday, next week and in January.
Southern, run by Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), a joint venture owned by London-listed Go-Ahead and France’s Keolis, told passengers not to try to travel during the strike.
Local media said this week’s strikes would have the biggest impact since action by signal workers in the mid-1990s.
It comes after a series of strikes on Southern this year which have caused misery for commuters. Some workers say they lost their jobs because they could not get to work on time.
Go-Ahead, which has apologised for the troubles on Southern, is due to provide investors with a trading update on Thursday.