Mayor labels Southern chaos a total disgrace
Sadiq Khan today criticised all sides for the ongoing chaos on Southern lines, calling the service ‘a total disgrace that is badly failing commuters’.
The Mayor called on the unions to cancel the strikes planned for next week, but strongly criticised the government for ‘washing their hands of the crisis and abandoning passengers in the process’.
The Mayor contrasted the ongoing strikes on Southern services with his success in getting the unions to cancel strikes planned on the London Underground this week.
There had originally been two strikes planned this week, one on Southern services and one on the Piccadilly and Hammersmith and City Lines – the strikes on the underground were called off by the RMT, after the dispute was settled in negotiations with TfL.
The number of days lost to strikes on the TfL underground network has reduced by 92 per cent since Sadiq Khan became Mayor.
Official TfL statistics show that, during Boris Johnson's eight years as Mayor, 32,212 working days were lost as a result of strikes – an average of 336 days a month. In stark contrast, just 173 working days have been lost during the first seven months of Sadiq Khan's mayoralty – fewer than 25 a month.
The Mayor said the ongoing chaos showed once again why commuter rail lines, including Southern, Southeastern and South West, should be devolved to TfL – and said ‘it is absolutely clear that commuters would suffer from fewer strikes if TfL controlled these routes’.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said:
“The ongoing chaos on Southern rail services is a total disgrace that is badly failing commuters who just want to get to work and back.
“The unions should cancel the strikes and get back around the negotiating table, but the government are washing their hands of this crisis and abandoning commuters in the process.
“The chaos on the government-run Southern services this week is in stark contrast to TfL – who successfully persuaded the unions to call off their planned strike on the underground through engagement and negotiation.
“The number of days lost to strikes has reduced by 92 per cent since I became Mayor so our approach is clearly working.
“This is yet another reason why the government should devolve control of commuter services like Southern, Southeastern and South West to TfL. It is absolutely clear that commuters would suffer from fewer strikes if TfL controlled these routes, and fares would be more affordable – with our four year freeze on all TfL fares.”