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South Western Railway strike starts today

27-day walkout expected to cause Christmas misery for commuters

Dan Cooper

Dan Cooper

dan.cooper@newburynews.co.uk

Contact:

01635 886632

33-3013D Newbury Train station

Commuters are facing weeks of disruption as workers on South Western Railway (SWR) begin a 27-day strike today (Mon).

It comes after talks between the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union and SWR over a long-running dispute over guards on trains broke down.

SWR runs services between London Waterloo and Portsmouth, Southampton, Bournemouth and Weymouth as well as Reading, Exeter and Bristol.

It also operates suburban commuter lines in south-west London, Surrey, Berkshire, and north-east Hampshire.

Strike days are as follows:

. From 00:01 GMT on Monday, December 2 until 23:59 on Wednesday, December 11

. From 00:01 on Friday, December 13 until 23:59 on Tuesday, December 24

. From 00:01 on Friday, December 27 until 23:59 on Wednesday January 1

The following advice to rail users affected by the South Western Railway strikes might be useful.

Personal finance expert at money.co.uk, Salman Haqqi, said: “Having to battle through a month of train strikes leaves a bitter taste in the mouth of commuters who have paid considerable sums for their now disrupted travel to work.

“Travellers shouldn’t be left out of the pocket if their journey is disrupted by strike action, and there are a number of steps you can take if you are delayed or worse.

“You can get a full refund if any part of your train journey is cancelled due to strike action. You will also be given the option to travel on a different train, without changing your ticket.

“The travel conditions of your original ticket will still apply, so if you have an off peak ticket you can only travel at off peak times.

“Most train companies put on replacement services during strikes. This means you can only claim for delays to your journey if your replacement travel is affected.

“If you change your mind about a journey you have already booked, you can get a full refund if your journey is due to be delayed. If the service is running normally, you can get a refund but may have to pay a £10 cancellation fee.

“If your train is delayed by more than an hour, The National Rail Conditions of Travel mean you can claim 50 per cent of the ticket price for a single ticket or the relevant journey on a return ticket.

"If you have a return ticket and your journey is delayed by more than an hour both ways then you can claim 50 per cent of the total ticket price.

“If your journey is cancelled, you can get a full refund. Just keep your unused train tickets and claim within 28 days of the date you were supposed to travel.

“With season tickets, if you are more than an hour late to your destination, you can claim back 20 per cent of the price of your weekly ticket. 

“If your claim is successful, your train company will pay the money by paying it directly into your bank account or by cheque. 

“You have the right to demand cash for train delays and cancellations, so don't be fobbed off with vouchers.

"Check out the money.co.uk guide to getting a refund on rail tickets for more information"

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