St Leonards student’s education ‘affected’ by train strikes

Matthew Collett Leslie, of Catsfield Close, St Leonards, gets the train to Eastbourne every day before taking a bus to Heathfield Community College SUS-160712-110229001

Matthew Collett Leslie, of Catsfield Close, St Leonards, gets the train to Eastbourne every day before taking a bus to Heathfield Community College SUS-160712-110229001

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A GCSE student from St Leonards who is made an hour late for school by the train strikes accused the rail union of affecting his education.

Matthew Collett Leslie, of Catsfield Close, gets the train to Eastbourne every day before taking a bus to Heathfield Community College.

The 15-year-old student is currently sitting his mock GCSE exams and is being made late for them by the rail action which means he has to get a rail replacement bus.

Matthew says he dreads getting to school in the mornings and said he does not need the additional stress on top of his ‘important’ exams.

“It’s really important at this time of year for me as I need to get practicising as without practice it could mess up my grades,” he said.

“I blame the RMT personally as Southern are trying to put a stop to it.”

RMT conductors are on strike for the second day as part of a three-day walk out over their role, the latest in a number of strikes throughout 2016 with more due by the end of the year.

Many have called for an end to the dispute which has caused rail chaos for the south east, no less than 1066 country which is left with no Southern trains during the strike schedule.

Matthew is adding his voice to the calls for a settlement as the pressure on his exams and school-life is getting unbearable.

“This is getting ridiculous now - it needs to stop,” he said.

“Why don’t RMT say to Southern how about trial it for a month and if it works fair enough but if it doesn’t work then go back to the old ways – that is a much better solution than affecting not just my life but everyone else’s life.

“Some people are quitting work because of this and it’s unfair on everyone.

“This needs to be heard and then hopefully the more of us that make our opinion heard on the news then maybe RMT will listen.”

The year 11 student said he emailed RMT to let them know how the strikes affect him but he had no response.

An RMT spokesman said: “Southern is a company that has chosen to declare war on its passengers and staff alike.

“It is their gross mismanagement of the franchise that has plunged it into total meltdown.

“RMT is sorry for any additional disruption caused during our strike days but with the govt and company both refusing point blank to meet us we cannot walk away from our fight for basic rail safety and passenger access.”

A Southern spokesman added: “We are truly sorry about the months of misery our passengers have suffered.

“We understand the impact this unnecessary dispute has had on individuals, communities and the regional economy.

“No one wants and end to these disputes more than us.”

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