PASSENGERS and taxi drivers have shared their frustration as national rail strikes hit the city.

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

Southampton Central looked extremely quiet 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 disruption.

"Today has been miserable," he said.

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

"Once you get to the train station, from the train station there are no clear directions as to what time services will be."

Daily Echo: Southampton Central Station looked very quiet on Tuesday morningSouthampton 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 cancelled and had to rely on a friend to travel to work.

"If it wasn’t for a friend that could get me to work, I wouldn’t get there at all, so I’ll be losing out on money and all the hassle from it," she said.

"This is obviously not pleasant; I don’t drive so this prevents me from getting to work."

Planned action will also affect services on Thursday and Saturday while on the days in between, there will be no South Western Railway (SWR) services before 7.30am.

Sunday level of service will be running throughout the day.

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

“Today has been really quiet, no jobs since 8am. Obviously, if people are not getting the train, then there won’t be people to pick them up from the station.

“If this carries on, 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 the strike days, there will also be no trains to Glastonbury from Southampton.

SWR’s Managing director Claire Mann said: “I am sorry these strikes will cause such disruption and am grateful to our customers for their patience and understanding as the rail industry works to bring this damaging nationwide action to an end.”

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

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