Southern Rail
Southern Rail conductors are staging a protest over plans to change their job rolesGetty

Commuters in London and the south-east are facing cancellations, delays and packed train carriages after Southern Rail conductors walked out in a strike over plans to change their role. Under proposals suggested by the rail franchise, conductors will no longer be responsible for operating doors any more in return for a more "visible" role on board the train.

RMT union members claim the change is unsafe, an accusation Southern denies and says that 40% of its services are already driver-only operations. Operator Govia Thameslink criticised the industrial action as "unnecessary" as change would not usher in job loses or pay cuts.

But speaking to BBC South East , RMT leader Steve Hedley said: "Nobody on the railway, be they drivers or conductors, want to be in a position where they're losing money. But what we have to acknowledge is that the safety role of a guard is absolutely paramount."

As a result of the strike, the Brighton Mainline is reporting "major disruption" and cancellations and busier then usual trains are expected along other lines:

Southern Rail
Affected Southern Rail servicesSouthern Rail