In 2016, the company introduced an "amended timetable [that] would be a temporary measure until staffing returned to normal" to be announced on 5 July.
Southern said this would allow the conductor to concentrate on the passengers, but the RMT and Aslef unions said that it was an attempt to make conductors unnecessary and would be unsafe.
The rail safety regulator, the Rail Standards and Safety Board has said that “We have 30 years of data which we have analysed.
Following the end of British Rail, Connex South Central was awarded the Network South Central franchise by the Director of Passenger Rail Franchising. In March 2000, the Shadow Strategic Rail Authority (SSRA) announced its intention to relet the franchise from May 2003 with Connex and Govia the shortlisted bidders. The franchise was originally to run for twenty years, but in 2002 the Strategic Rail Authority changed the way it handled financing agreements and therefore Govia was re-awarded with a seven-and-a-half-year franchise until December 2009.
In May 2004 the franchise was rebranded as Southern in a recall of the pre-nationalisation Southern Railway, using a green roundel logo with Southern in yellow in a green bar.
This doubled the number of London to Brighton express trains during those periods.
The South Central franchise end date was brought forward to September 2009 upon the integration of the Gatwick Express service, to allow the new operator to be in place during major changes to the timetable in and around South London in December 2009.We have found that the driver performing the task does not increase the risk to passengers at all.” The BBC suggested that the RMT union are particularly worried about the new method of operation because if drivers (rather than conductors) control the doors then trains could run without conductors and thus any strike by conductors would not have the power to cancel trains.In December 2016, it was announced that the government would pay £50 million to Southern to cover the costs of the disruption caused by the strikes, due to a deal between the Government and Southern.Major destinations served include Banstead, Beckenham Junction, Epsom Downs, Epsom, Leatherhead, East Croydon, Mitcham Junction, Sutton, East Grinstead, Uckfield, Caterham, Tattenham Corner, Redhill, Gatwick Airport, Crawley, Horsham, Littlehampton, Worthing, Bognor Regis, Southampton, Portsmouth, Brighton, Eastbourne and Ore.It also operates services from Brighton to Ashford, Brighton to Seaford, Brighton to Southampton and South Croydon to Milton Keynes.In August 2008 the Df T shortlisted Govia, National Express, Ned Rail and Stagecoach for the new South Central franchise.