TRAIN commuters have been reminded by South Western Railway (SWR) to only travel if “absolutely necessary” as 2,100 members of its workforce strike.

As the weekend approaches, the company has reiterated there will be severe disruption across the network, and on strike days there will be no trains running to Portsmouth or beyond Southampton to the coast.

This comes as further nationwide Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) strikes are taking place today (June 23) and Saturday, with a severely reduced service provided only on the routes that Network Rail has made available. Large parts of the SWR network will be shut down completely.

The knock-on effect of each strike means that a late starting Sunday level of service will run on both Friday (24 June) and Sunday (26 June), causing significant disruption.

SWR’s managing director Claire Mann said: “We’re sorry to have to ask our customers to only travel by rail if absolutely necessary until Sunday June 26 as nationwide RMT strikes are causing major disruption on our network every day this week.

“We know that many people have planned to use our trains for leisure travel this weekend, but Saturday’s strike action means we will be running a very limited service.

“Customers who do travel on Saturday risk being stranded after the network shuts down at 6.30pm and should double check their last trains.

“We’re sorry to those whose weekend plans will be hit and thank them for their patience and understanding.”

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