Southern Driver's Strike - starting Tuesday Jan 10th

Just a reminder (as if we needed one) that there is a driver strike on Southern tomorrow,Wednesday and Friday. Which means no Southern services at all. I am guessing that trains will be in the wrong positions on Thursday so there’s likely to be disruption on Thursday too.


Last Southern strike London Overground ran extra Crystal Palace services and things were ok(ish). This morning they didn’t seem to be running the extra services. Anyone know if they are planning to at all this week? I tweeted to enquire but got no response. It was carnage on the Overground this morning - they had to close Forest Hill station at about 840am due to overcrowding!

I suppose it costs TfL money to compensate for Southern and the unions failure and one has to ask whether its should be their responsibility.

Would be nice though. My advice is catch the 185 to Catford.

Can’t run extra services or won’t? Anyway it will be the Crofton Park to Blackfriars tomorrow for me.

And listening to the various items on the morning news there doesn’t seem to be a resolution in sight, so it seems to be the case of wfh if you can, find alternative routes if not.


Yesterday, I took the bus into Aldwych which, whilst pleasant as I had a seat the whole way, took 1 hr, 40 minutes from Forest Hill. So, I opted for the Overground/Tube option into Waterloo this morning. Journey time was much faster. I left the house at 6.30 am (around 15 minutes earlier then normal) and was sitting at my desk by 07.10. However, the Overground and Tube were both absolutely rammed. Overground wasn’t too bad at Forest Hill but by the time it got the New Cross Gate, it was packed solid. This is before 7 am! Nuts. Felt quite unsafe.

I may go back to using the bus as it feels a lot safer.

Fair enough and thanks for clarifying that. I agree it’s obviously not London Overground’s responsibility to cover for Southern’s ineptitude, it’s just that it worked very well last time and, given the support for TFL to take over the running of the London metro services in the long term, it seemed a great opportunity to establish goodwill with commuters and demonstrate how TFL would go the extra mile and provide solutions to problems in future. But obviously it’s complex and there are professional sensitivities to account for.

My thoughts, in defence of TfL and notwithstanding the additional cost, that it must take some time to ensure extra rolling stock and staff are in place to handle a temporary increase in services. Given that strikes can be called off at the 11th hour, then TfL has to make a large commitment in both funds and resources for something which may be required. The odd occasional day may be easier to plan for. But a three day period much harder, and of course remembering this was originally planned as a six day strike.

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I went in later. Caught a 10:30 Overground from FOH. Much busier then I expected with no seats available. But not over-crowded. Interchange at Canada Water appears normal to a rush hour time.

Throughout the strike services are obviously much busier, but today was the first time I felt frightened in the scrum. I (just) managed to get on the 7.04 from FH which was easily the most packed service I’ve seen from there. Yet more and more people squeezed on at each station (just as I had) and it was unbearable. I really fear someone will get hurt…other than the fraying tempers and the blokes who got off at NCG to take their argument further. I coped by daydreaming about moving to a rural village in Northumberland! Not looking forward to the return leg later :confused:

No need to worry. The transport unions are striking for your safety.


RMT announcement of a 24-hour conductors’ strike next Wednesday, 22 February. (this won’t impact our services through Forest Hill as our trains run safely without conductors)

Nick Brown, Chief Operating Officer of Govia Thameslink Railway, Southern’s parent company, said:

“We are disappointed that the RMT is going to heap yet further misery and disruption on the travelling public.”

They don’t like anybody else heaping misery on their passengers - that’s their role and what they do best.