EAST Hampshire MP Damian Hinds has welcomed the decision by South Western Railway (SWR) to pay compensation to passengers impacted by dire disruption in service throughout the festive period.

Caused by unprecedented strike action in December by the RMT union, the Government has worked with SWR to secure compensation to cover the cost of up to five days rail travel paid to season ticket and daily ticket holders who were worst affected during the strike.

Mr Hinds said: “The effect this had on people’s lives and livelihoods is completely unacceptable and I again call for both sides to settle the issue around the negotiating table without inflicting any further hardship on the customers they serve.”

Mr Hinds is an officer of the All Party Parliamentary Group for SWR, which met last week to discuss specific issues of performance, franchising and strikes with SWR’s Mark Hopwood and directors of Network Rail.

Mr Hinds added: “The group will continue to press for further action by rail operators to deliver the service customers deserve, and to ensure the Government delivers on the commitment to introduce legislation to protect commuters from unreasonable strike action in the future.”