SOUTH Western Railway (SWR) staff have voted take more industrial action following the month-long strike in December.

The dates for the future strikes have not yet been announced.

The news comes amid the company announcing the date of its next 'Meet the Manager Session', which gives customers the opportunity to ask questions directly to SWR's directors and senior management on a range of issues.

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A spokesperson for SWR said: "We are obviously disappointed with the result, although it should be noted that less than half of eligible RMT members voted for strike action.

"On this basis we hope the RMT will use the next few weeks as a window of opportunity to work with us to find a solution so that our passengers do not suffer more unnecessary disruption.

"Similar proposals to the ones we have made are already in place with numerous operators across London and the South East, and we have already promised that we will keep guards with a safety critical role on all our trains."

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There is also talk of SWR potentially being nationalised.

The company's recent financial statements indicate "the franchise is not sustainable in the long term", according to Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.

Poor punctuality and reliability, combined with slower revenue growth has led to the operator's financial performance being "significantly below expectation" since the franchise began in August 2017, he said.

The franchise - owned by FirstGroup and MTR - made a pre-tax loss of £139 million in the year to March 2019 after suffering from infrastructure failures and industrial action.

SWR have "not yet failed to meet their financial commitments" but the Department for Transport "must prepare suitable contingency measures", Mr Shapps explained in a written ministerial statement.

Potential options include issuing a new short-term contract to SWR's owners - FirstGroup and MTR - or transferring the operation of trains to public-sector body the Operator of Last Resort.

Mr Shapps said SWR will "continue to operate as usual with no material impact on SWR services or staff".

He added: "Across the country, a number of franchises are failing to provide the reliable services that passengers require and there are legitimate questions on whether the current franchising model is viable.

The next Meet the Manager session will be held at London Waterloo Station on Wednesday, February 26.

Christian Neill, SWR’s deputy director of Customer Experience, said: "Our passengers have faced a tough time over the last 12 months, but we're determined to rebuild trust and instil confidence.

"This Meet the Manager session is an opportunity for our customers to ask questions and let us know about their specific concerns."