Here at Brighton Journal, we’ve vociferously covered the atrocious service provided by Southern Railway. Having brought the latest news and stories from in and around the protests as well as updating our readers on strike action, it’s become something of a duty to let people vent their grief and frustration over the beleaguered train company.
But there has now been a response. Speaking to Juice 107.2, Angie Doll, one of the people behind the now infamous ’emergency timetable’, had this to say:
“I’d like to start by saying sorry to our customers who’ve, over the last couple of weeks, experienced a significant level of cancellation due to the high levels of sickness we’ve been experiencing since RMT started their industrial strike. We realise we have to do something different and that’s why, from next Monday, we are introducing a temporary revised timetable so that passengers can have more certainty around planning their journeys and we have more certainty about being able to plan the journeys when the customers need them.”
When asked how long the emergency timetable will last, Doll revealed that their “initial thoughts are that it will be in for the the next four weeks”, but will be reviewed weekly. She went on to say that measures are being put in place to open up a dialogue between themselves at staff members to ensure they come to work. Furthermore, she indicated that if staff attendance rose in the coming weeks then they would “start reintroducing services back into the timetable”.
When the interviewer asked about relations between Southern Rail and the RMT Union, Doll revealed that they have “already offered [RMT] security and guarantees that there will be no job losses” and that these jobs would continue to be stable throughout the lifetime of the Govia Thameslink Railway franchise, which expires in 2021.
“We’ve given assurances and guarantees around salary, terms and conditions and pay and also the issue around safety,” Doll said in defence of her employers, adding that the Railway Safety Board had confirmed the safety of Southern’s operations.
So what do you think, Southern Rail-ites? Does the blame still lie with Southern or is there a little more to it? Let us know!