LETTER: Keep guards on the trains

I am in the unfortunate position of having to use Southern Rail five days a week: three days for my job in Eastbourne and two for the University of Kent in Canterbury where I am a student.

Wednesday, 7th December 2016, 5:00 pm
Keyboard SUS-160615-124004001

Twice in a week I have been unable to get to Canterbury because trains have been cancelled without notice. Trains are frequently delayed or cancelled going to or from Eastbourne.

When a train does appear, the passengers are herded into two dangerously overcrowded carriages. The service is a shambles.

So why is the Government so reluctant to intervene? Could it be that they want to try to defeat the unions in their struggle to maintain the safety of the public?

I actively support the strikes and am delighted that the drivers will now be joining. Something drastic needs to happen to force the Government to take the franchise away from GTR. If Southern Rail were to be run by a public operator, the motivation for providing a decent service would be in the interests of passengers rather than profit.

In desperation, I wrote to my local MP, only to receive a standard reply which failed to address any of my concerns.

Instead, she is “pleased that the Transport Secretary has taken this step to improve the resilience of the Southern network…and hiring extra staff at key stations including East Croydon and Gatwick”.

Have I missed something here? I thought she was supposed to be representing Hastings & Rye.

Please join with me to urge the Government to end this dispute positively and provide a decent standard of service on Southern Rail.

Jay Kramer

Ashburnham Road


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