Southern Saga: Biggest Commuter Protest Scheduled for Tonight at Victoria
Further protests are being planned over delays and cancellations to trains on the Southern Franchise.
Following weeks of strikes and protests from both employees and commuters, the largest gathering is planned for tonight at London Victoria. This comes just a week after Southern Rail announced a revised timetable in effort to combat the persistent delays their service provides.
— Association of British Commuters (@ABCommuters) July 11, 2016
Southern’s latest timetable sees them cut 341 trains from their schedule to avoid delays and cancellations. The timetable is expected to run for only a month, but for many it sees journeys being made more difficult with having to change and transfer at different stations in order to make their commute work. The mind behind the revised timetable recently apologised for the service, but that appears to have fallen on deaf ears as the protest has gained momentum today after being advertised on Twitter.
The protest planned for tonight follows Caroline Lucas campaigning in Parliament for better services as well as David Cameron acknowledging the abysmal performance Southern Rail has been giving. Calls for change to the mainline service have been loud over the last 6 weeks, but despite meetings between officials and MPs there has been no improvement to the service, leaving commuters and employees angry. Lack of staff appears to be the main cause for concern, but this hasn’t been rectified with the reduced timetable.
Tonights protest is due to take place at 5:30, mid rush hour in one of London’s biggest stations. The turnout in recent protests as varied, but tonight it is expected that the voices of angry commuters will be heard loud and clear. Following the weeks and weeks of chaos on Brighton’s line, it is no surprise that the strikes show no signs of slowing down. The movement has been predominantly organised on Twitter, with the #southernfail and #govianowhere sparking the strikes.