The South Western Railway warns the participants of the marathon about the strike

    The South Western Railway warns the participants of the marathon about the strike

    South Western Railway has urged people to only travel on the railway “if absolutely necessary” both today and tomorrow due to strike action.

    Those traveling through South Western this weekend should “seek to do so by other means” as the company warns customers should expect major network disruptions.

    The London Marathon takes place tomorrow, Sunday 2nd October, and South Western Rail is advising those attending to check it before travelling.

    More than 2,100 members of the SWR RMT union and members of the South Western Railway TSSA union are taking part in the strike today.

    Large parts of the network are completely closed, with those trains running less often and expected to be busier than usual.

    Due to the fallout from today’s strike action, South Western has warned that the first trains will start later than usual across the network tomorrow and are likely to be very busy.

    South Western Railway said these late starts were due to “problems in getting trains and people to the right place for work”.

    South Western Rail’s director of performance and planning, Steve Tyler, said: “I’m very sorry that due to the strike we have to urge our customers to only travel on an emergency basis on Saturday 1 October and Sunday 2 October.

    “Those who need to travel must find it in other ways.

    “Large parts of our network will be closed on the day of the strike and there will be a late launch the following morning.

    “Those who must travel are urged to check the times of the first and last trains carefully and avoid them if possible as they are likely to be very busy.

    “We are grateful to our customers for their continued cooperation, patience and understanding as the rail industry works to end this damaging nationwide strike.”

    RMT general secretary Mick Lynch, speaking from a picket line at Euston station on Saturday, was pressed on how the union would “justify” disrupting a “major charity event” such as the London Marathon.

    He told BBC Breakfast that union members did not want to cause public trouble and said the target was the Tory party conference, not the marathon.

    When asked if he would make a public apology, he said: “Absolutely. We do not want to inconvenience the public and we are very sorry to see this happen.

    “But the government started this dispute. They (set) the task before us, cut our jobs, cut our pensions and cut our wages against inflation.”

    “Every time we strike, it inconveniences people. We don’t want to do that, we would prefer an agreement, we would prefer to get out of this dispute so that our members can (provide) services.”

    Check the SWR website for the latest information here.

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