The Reigate, Redhill & District Rail Users Association (RRDRUA) yesterday took out an advert in the Times calling for a resolution of the rail chaos on the Southern network.
Travellers have faced frequent short-notice cancellations due to what loudspeaker announcements are still describing as a “temporary shortage” of train crew, linked to an ongoing dispute between Govia Thameslink and its conductors.
Under a headline of “Southern Rail isn’t working”, RRDRUA’s advert in the Times read:
“A message to the leaders of the RMT, the Department for Transport and Southern Rail:
We, your passengers, have had enough. Enough of the daily cancellations, enough of the ubiquitous delays, enough of the unofficial strikes and enough of your inaction. All of us are suffering uncertainty and stress on a daily basis, and some of us have even lost our jobs because of your imploding ‘service’. Only you can stop this, so we are asking you to get around the table now, immediately, today, and work out a deal. Don’t leave the room until you have one. We can see sense, it’s about time you did too.”
In an attempt to bring in a more robust service, Govia Thameslink are introducing a temporary timetable Monday to Friday, from 11 July until further notice. There are a number of service reductions on the Redhill route, and Reigate travellers will lose their direct off-peak services to London. Govia Thameslink says of the new timetable:
“We understand the impact that the current unpredictable and often late notice cancellations and delays have on your journeys and daily plans. While this continues, we will be unable to reliably operate the full timetable.
In order to give you more certainty for your journey and enable you to better plan, we will implement an amended timetable on Mondays to Fridays that we will be able to operate more reliably. We are continuing to do everything possible to restore a full service as soon as we are able. We will still be operating 95% of peak capacity to/from London Victoria and 86% of morning and 84% of evening capacity to/from London Bridge.”
The company says that delays against either the amended or normal timetable will qualify for delay repay compensation.
The need for a more robust service was again illustrated at Reigate this morning, 7 July, with the key 0727 and 0740 services to London cancelled, and additional problems from Redhill.
Recent campaigning by RRDRUA, about the service and fare levels, has included a letter-writing initiative, and a visit to the Secretary of State for Transport Patrick McLoughlin on 13 June. At that meeting RRDRUA were again accompanied by their president, Conservative MP for Reigate Crispin Blunt, who has backed the association in its representations to the Conservative-run Government.
Govia Thameslink information on amended timetable and compensation
Photo credit for news page photo of Southern train on tracks: istock.com/Maxian