Members of a key rail union have rejected a deal that would have brought an end to the strikes crippling the Southern Rail network.
Members of Aslef, the train drivers’ union, narrowly rejected a deal negotiated by union leaders and Southern Rail management.
51.8% voted against the deal while 48.2% voted in favour.
Mick Whelan, general secretary of ASLEF, the train drivers’ union, said: “We understand and support the decision arrived at in a democratic vote by our drivers and will now seek new talks with the company and work to deliver a resolution to this dispute in line with the expectations of our members.”
The dispute, which has caused delays and cancellations across routes through south west London, was estimated to have cost the UK economy £300 million by the end of 2016, University of Chichester figures indicate.
The RMT, the other key union involved in the strike, has announced a further day of industrial action on April 8.
Members of the union rejected a previous agreement put to them in February.