Southern rail
Southern commuters have faced a series of strikes Jack Taylor/ Getty Images

Southern rail services will again be severely reduced today (Friday 9 December) despite the RMT's strike closing last night.

The RMT, which represents conductors, will be striking again on December 19 but in the meantime commuters will find no respite as Aslef, the train drivers' union, continue with their ban on working overtime. Aslef is also committed to a full walkout next week.

The strikes centre around the issue of driverless trains, which Southern hope to introduce onto their services. As a result, drivers will be required to operate train doors themselves, which they say is unsafe although experts and the government dispute this claim.

Alex Foulds, from Southern, said: "[Friday] is the first day when Aslef's overtime ban will be felt on a non-strike day.

"We're sincerely sorry but passengers are advised services will be severely reduced and, on some routes, cancelled altogether. We will put on rail replacement buses where we can. We urge people to check before they travel on the day."

Yesterday (8 December) Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) which operates Southern had sought an injunction against the action on grounds that it would breach the rights of customers. In turn, Aslef argued that it was their fundamental right to strike. The judge ruled in favour of the union, clearing the way for further action next week.

Speaking after the case, Aslef general secretary Mick Whelan, said: "What a waste of money. Southern, Britain's worst private train company, has wasted shareholders' money, passengers' money and taxpayers' money – because the company has been handsomely subsidised by the Conservative government – on a case it was always going to lose."