A South Western Railway spokesperson said: “We are
disappointed that some of our staff have chosen to vote for industrial action.
None of us want to be in this position and any potential action will cause
unnecessary disruption for the customers we serve.
“We have been clear that we plan to retain a second person
on our services, as we know that our passengers value the assurance and
assistance a second member of on-board staff provides. That’s why, during our
franchise, we will increase the numbers of drivers and guards so we can deliver
more services for passengers.
“We aim to deliver improvements for passengers throughout
the SWR franchise including new trains, quicker journeys, and earlier and later
services. Today’s announcement undermines those efforts. We urge the RMT to
avoid premature strike action and work with us to deliver for our customers,
and we look forward to meeting them again to discuss our future plans on 5
October as already arranged.”