Commuters across Surrey and South London are facing five non-stop days of travel chaos, as the row between South Western Railway and the union continues.

In light of this ongoing dispute, Twickenham MP Vince Cable has written to the Managing Director of South Western Railway, Andy Mellors. In this letter he urges the train company to take action so that guards are moved away from lines which are currently running as normal and reduce disruption facing residents of Hampton and Fulwell, through to Shepperton.

The strikes were exacerbated by a serious signal failure in Waterloo, which meant the limited services were severely delayed or cancelled. Commuters were advised to avoid the service.

In the letter seen exclusively by the Richmond and Twickenham Times, Sir Cable questions why the 'burden of the strike falls on the Teddington and Shepperton line'. While not blaming Mr Mellors or the RMT Union, the MP did ask to address the cause of the dispute, which 'seemed less divisive under the previous franchise'. He also asked to be kept updated on the issues, which will be affected those going to watch the rugby in Twickenham on Saturday, October 27.

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Vince Cable, commenting on the industrial action said: “The disruption this industrial action is creating for commuters, visitors, students and many other people who rely on our railways is immense. The industrial action sadly comes on top of the long standing problems of regular cancellations of too many trains, not to mention the fiasco of the timetable changes this Summer.

“We need to be getting more people using our trains and less people using our crowded roads, yet this industrial action risks doing the complete opposite. The RMT and South Western Railway need to put aside their differences, reach an agreement and finally ensure they put long suffering train users first.”

A South Western Railway spokesperson said: “Although we are not offering a train service on the Shepperton branch on strike days, we have arranged ticket acceptance on local TfL buses and on some other local bus operators. A full list of available routes is on our website. These services should allow customers on this line to use the buses to connect into train services at Teddington, Feltham or Staines.

“We realise this is far from ideal but we have to deploy our limited team of contingency guards on routes with the highest passenger demand and on services which will move the greatest number of people. Clearly if the RMT Union persists in this damaging action we will continue to train further contingency guards and so hopefully expand our strike day service.

“We would invite season ticket holders who are unable to travel to contact our customer relations department. With regard to the Autumn internationals at Twickenham we are still finalising our service provision which will be available on our website next week ready for the first fixture on 3 November. We are liaising with the Rugby Football Union regarding our plans.”

The SWR strike started on Monday, October 22 and will continue until Saturday, October 27, with four 24-hour strikes set to follow on consecutive Saturdays in November. A reduced service will run on most of the South Western Railway network on all five days.

If you have been affected by the Southwestern railstrikes get in touch with the Richmond and Twickenham Times on 020 8722 6310 or