Prospective Conservative MP helps to keep local trains running during strike action
Chris Loder, the Prospective Conservative MP for West Dorset in the 2019 General Election, is supporting local communities in West Dorset and across the South West that are affected by railway industrial action.
The strike by members of the RMT trade union started on 2nd December and was called by the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union. Loder, who is currently on campaign leave from his role at SWR, stepped in as a replacement train guard for the day on the Salisbury to Exeter line during the first day of action.
The prospective MP, aged 38, has had a 20 year career in the railways which began as a train guard at 18 years old. He said: “I feel strongly that this action, threatened for an unprecedented number of days, is totally unacceptable. Although the frequency of scheduled trains running through Dorset is reduced during strike action, the communities of West Dorset are being threatened by the RMT in an attempt to stop people getting to work, school or shopping. I am doing all I can to make sure our vital train service continues to run and I remain optimistic in the continuing power of negotiation, so that our regular frequency of service between the South West and London can be restored to normal as soon as possible”.
SWR does not want to remove guards from its trains, quite the opposite. In fact, it is currently on a major recruitment drive for its brand-new office and guards base at Yeovil Junction station to service SWR’s major network between the South West and London.
By volunteering as a guard, as he has often done during previous rail strikes, Chris Loder continues to demonstrate his commitment to reliable public transport provision, one of his key priorities if elected as West Dorset’s MP.
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