The launch of Monday’s emergency timetable for Southern Rail services was hailed by those from inside the company as a measure which would cut down on delays and cancellations – the first step to redemption for the hapless company. It has been anything but.
After cutting a staggering 341 trains from their regular service, Southern Rail insisted the streamlined timetable would at least provide some certainty to passengers. Even if their train services had been cut altogether, at least they would be able to make alternative plans. Right?
Figures released after the first day of the timetable on Monday revealed that of services from Brighton to London, a pitiful 37% of trains arrived at their destinations on time. The number was slightly higher for Gatwick Express – just over 38% – but overall, the timings of these train services was overwhelmingly poor. These figures will be bitterly disappointing given the guarantees which Southern employees have been making regarding the emergency service. Passenger Services Director Alex Foulds was quoted as saying that “[the new timetable] should give the majority of our passengers a better, more consistent service that they can plan around.” Looks like ‘should’ is the operative word there, Alex.
It is even more frustrating for Brighton-based Southern passengers given the fact that they have arguably been the most vocal group of all in their condemnation of Southern Rail’s poor performance. But now the anger and frustration is more palpable than ever. After the latest protest was taken to London Victoria, right in the middle of rush hour, a group of disgruntled Seaford passengers aired their displeasure at the fact that many of their trains had been cut altogether. While we appreciate you can’t please all of the people all of the time, Southern could at least make an effort to please one person at some stage.
— BBC South East (@bbcsoutheast) July 12, 2016
What do you think? Could Southern be doing more? Do you want the old timetable back? Let us know on here and on social media!
Matt Cowdock, @MattCowdock, firstname.lastname@example.org