Taxi drivers

How the rail strikes are affecting Southampton commuters and taxi drivers

PASSENGERS and taxi drivers shared their frustration over the nationwide railway strikes that have hit the city.

Around 40,000 Network Rail Railway, Maritime and Transport (RMT) members and 13 train operators are taking action after final talks between ministers and the union failed to resolve a dispute over the salaries, jobs and working conditions.

Southampton Central appeared extremely calm on Tuesday morning as the majority of services were cancelled.

Kana Selva, 50, an engineer from London attending the Seawork convention in Southampton was among the passengers caught up in the disturbance.

“Today has been miserable,” he said.

“I took the train from where I live to Clapham Junction station, a journey that usually takes 10 minutes took an hour and a half as everyone was driving or taking the bus rather than taking the train .

“Once you arrive at the station, from the station there are no clear indications as to the time of the services.”

Southampton Central Station looked very quiet on Tuesday morning

READ MORE: Southampton Central deserted on first day of strikes – What you need to know

Zoe Baku, 30, a commuter from Southampton had her train canceled and had to rely on a friend to get to work.

“If there wasn’t a friend who could put me to work, I wouldn’t be able to do it at all, so I would lose money and all the hassle that would come with it,” she said.

“It’s obviously not pleasant, I don’t drive so it prevents me from getting to work.”

The planned actions will also affect services on Thursday and Saturday, while on the days in between there will be no South Western Railway (SWR) services until 7.30am.

The Sunday level of service will operate throughout the day.

Taxi driver Asim Ilyas, 44, normally has between five and eight jobs between 8am and 10am, but the strikes have affected his job.

“Today has been very calm, no work since 8am. Obviously, if people don’t take the train, there will be no one to pick them up at the station.

“If this continues, we won’t be able to do much all day.”

During the strikes, SWR will run two fast trains per hour in each direction between London Waterloo and Southampton Central.

Services will call at Southampton Central, Southampton Airport Parkway, Eastleigh, Winchester, Basingstoke, Woking, Clapham Junction and London Waterloo.

On strike days there will also be no trains to Glastonbury from Southampton.

SWR Managing Director Claire Mann said: “I am sorry that these strikes are causing such disruption and I am grateful to our customers for their patience and understanding as the rail industry works to end this harmful domestic action.

Two fast trains per hour will run in each direction between London Waterloo and Southampton Central.

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