A five-day rail strike has begun on the Southern rail network, with hundreds of trains cancelled across south east England. Just 60% of normal services will run during the longest rail strike in decades, bringing misery to long-suffering passengers.

Southern Rail operator Govia Thameslink and the Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers union (RMT) are embroiled in a bitter dispute over the role of conductors on trains.

Last week, the RMT union said talked aimed at avoiding industrial action had broken down and the walkout would commence on Monday 8 August.

IBTimes UK spoke to Southern rail passengers at London's Victoria station about the service.

"Everyone hates them. I would like their directors to actually be guards for a week. Let them come in an address the passengers and say what they're doing," one man said.

"The service should be publicly run for the public with profits going back into making it a better service rather than this just sheer greed.

"It's not good. Everyone is affected – the economy is affected and people on holiday are affected. Who is going to come to London if you can't get around? We're becoming a joke."

One passenger said she was frequently late for work by an hour, due to delayed Southern Rail services. "My boss is not happy with it," she added.

Another woman said: "The amount of money we spend goes up every year and the service gets worse. It's the summer holiday so it means it is going to affect me with the children, more time away from family, they will probably be in bed by the time I get home."