A THIRD of all services on South Western Railway could be scrapped due to five day school holiday strike by rail staff next week.

Train bosses say they will keep two-thirds of all its services running while workers from the RMT union strike from next Tuesday.

The five day strike will run until Saturday - when rail bosses say they will drop down to just half of all services.

Five further days of industrial action are planned across November.

In a statement, a spokesperson for South Western Railway said: “The RMT has again decided to needlessly disrupt our customers and colleagues with more strikes over the next two months.”

South Western Railway attacked the “damaging” strikes: “The union has cynically chosen dates with the aim of targeting hard-working commuters, families enjoying the half-term holiday and sports fans to cause as much misery as possible.”

Mick Tosh, a spokesperson for RMT, defended the decision to strike: “We’re taking strike action to protect the safety critical role of the guard.”

Mr Tosh added that the strikes were “in the interest of the public.”

Several of the passengers affected by the industrial action voiced their anger on Twitter.

One user called for strikes to railway services to be “outlawed”.

Another said he was “Looking forward to the say that we get a decent Prime Minister who will break these militant unions that still think they are in the 70’s.”

However, the RMT spokesperson told the Echo that the strikes had the support of a “silent majority” of the population.

“They [South Western Rail] are trying to turn public opinion against us,” said Mr Tosh.

The strikes are the latest in a series of industrial actions that have affected rail users over the past year.

RMT said that the decision to strike was a last resort: “If there were any other options, we would take them, we have taken them.

“They have offered us nothing.”

South Western Railway customers affected by the strikes are advised to check their journeys before travelling, as some routes will not have a train service or a replacement bus service.