Both commuters and passengers travelling by rail over Christmas will suffer as South Western Railway (SWR) have no choice but to go ahead with a month-long strike in December. The on-going dispute about the role of guards is yet to be resolved, with members walking out every day for the next month – except for Sunday 1st and Thursday 12th December – the date of the General Election. The strike is likely to have a big impact on London Waterloo – one of the UK’s busiest railway stations, affecting journeys from southwest London, Surrey, Hampshire, Berkshire, Dorset and Wiltshire.

The stoppage will also affect those trying to return home from Devon and the surrounding areas for the Christmas period. SWR have released a statement on their website stating:

‘This strike is the last thing any of us wanted. We will do everything possible to get you where you need to go but ask that you leave more time for your journey and check before you travel for the latest information.’

If you are affected by delays due to strike action you should contact South Western Railway, who can offer you compensation depending on the length of delay. This will usually be calculated against the planned or amended timetable that has been published in advance.

If you are delayed for longer than 2 hours, you are entitled to 100% of the cost of the ticket, you can find out more about what you are entitled to by taking a look at the South Western Railway website.

In order to make a claim, simply fill out a form online or you can download a form and apply by post. You will not be covered for industrial action under your travel insurance policy as this will be covered by your train company.

People travelling to airports via train could also be affected by the strike action and may have to look for alternative transport. You will not be covered by your travel insurance if you miss your flight due to the strike as you are responsible for rearranging your transport and ensuring you check any travel changes and delays in advance to allow enough time for your journey.