December 7 2019, 14:26
The Green Party candidate for Battersea has defended South Western Railway employees’ decision to strike throughout December.
Lois Davis, 65, acknowledged the bad timing of the strikes, but empathised with the industrial action.
She said: “It’s a shame they’re happening in the middle of an election and in the run up to Christmas, but I do have every sympathy with the reason why they’re taking action.
“It is not right, it is not safe to just have a driver in control of everything. For the safety of the train, and passengers getting on and off the train. I think they are quite justified in their campaign, because it is for public safety.”
The National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers called the strike in response to plans to move the control of doors on trains from guards to drivers.
South Western Railway reduced its services throughout the month by around half and many passengers have complained about overcrowded carriages.
The strike will end on January 1. Lib Dem candidate Mark Gitsham has argued Britain needs to return to the spirit of London 2012.
Mr Gitsham managed the basketball arena in the Olympic Park and bemoaned a loss of national unity since the games.
He said: “In 2012 the country came together. Everybody was united, it was such a happy place. You’d get on the tube and people would talk to each other.
“Since then the country has fractured apart and we’ve become a completely different place. We need to get back to that spirit.”
Mr Gitsham enjoyed the Games despite being confined to the basketball arena for lengthy periods.
He said: “We always knew whenever Team GB had got a gold medal, because this roar would travel right across the Olympic Park.
On Super Saturday we couldn’t actually believe how many medals we had won.
“I remember I had one evening off, I went to a bar with some friends which is usually full of music. They asked the music to be switched off because people were watching the diving!
“It was a great experience, the most exciting job of my life.”
Read more about what’s important to south west London constituencies in our 24-page General Election preview special.