COMMUTERS are set for more travel misery after a national union agreed to continue strike action.

The National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) said 88 per cent of its membership had voted to continue with the current action as they try to get increase safety, security and access on South West Railway lines.

The row is surrounding the safety of guards on the trains.

Yesterday, RMT confirmed it had secured a “rock-solid” vote to continue with action.

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “RMT has been forced under the latest wave of Tory anti-union laws to re-ballot for a second time in the rail safety dispute on South Western Railway under the six month rule and once again our members have stood united and solid and have renewed the mandate to carry on the fight to put public safety private before profit. It is a disgrace that South Western Railway have opted to play for time over the past six months rather than acting responsibly and getting round the table with the union to work out a solution to this dispute that puts safety and the guard guarantee centre stage.”

Jeremy Varns, campaign coordinator for South Western Railway Watch, said the public were being held to ransom over the role of guards.

He said: “Passengers face an autumn and winter of discontent with the RMT once again holding the public to ransom.

“Driver only operation is safely used elsewhere in the UK and throughout the world. The rail unions could have an important role to play in reshaping the industry, but sadly in the case of the RMT, their refusal to accept change is holding back much needed progress.

“It is not acceptable that passengers continue to be disrupted by the actions of striking staff, especially so when the unions have agreed to this method of working on other routes throughout the UK. Train companies such as South Western Railway need to modernise.”