SWR and unions reach agreement on guards and driver-only operation

SWR has reached agreement with its trade unions over the future role of guards and conductors on trains.

South Western Railway (SWR) has settled its long-running dispute over the role of guards on its trains.

Members of the RMT union had fought plans for drivers to operate the doors on the SWR’s latest trains instead of guards, with dozens of strikes held between 2017 and 2020, many services cancelled and passengers inconvenienced.

Announcing agreement, and the end of the dispute, an SWR spokesperson said: “After extensive and constructive negotiations with the RMT, we can confirm our colleagues have voted overwhelmingly in favour of a deal to end the long-running dispute over the role of the guard.

“This agreement is an important milestone on our journey to providing an even better experience for our customers, while providing certainty for our colleagues and the communities we serve.

“All parties can now move on from the disruption this dispute has caused and focus on welcoming our customers back to a more punctual, reliable and customer-friendly railway in the coming months.”

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