LETTER: Chaos on the railways... again

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The current state of affairs on Southern Region railways can only be described as utterly scandalous.

It is a prime example of how the wonderful world of privatisation can fall woefully short of what should be provided to a public who are already paying inflated fare rates for a poor quality and at times substandard service.

This situation should have been taken into control long ago by the Government intervening by referring it to arbitration. Instead of this, we have ineffective fulmination and delayed action by MPs trying to knock heads together at local level, to little effect, when the real answer was at Governmental level all the time.

The fact that this deplorable situation has been allowed to develop in this way is an indictment of failure to give effect to adopted policies to promote public transport over private car usage wherever possible.

This is little short of a betrayal of those people dependent on a proper rail service as an essential part of their livelihood.

Unfortunately, privately-run transport systems are not answerable or accountable to the public obliged to use them, in contrast to nationally-owned and operated services.

I am only glad that for the 14 years I commuted from my home in Lewes to my job in Surrey I did not have to make use of the railway system for a single day.

Car travel, however much derided as a means of transport, at least is not affected by spurious industrial disputes, wildcat strikes, or the like.

Despite occasional problems of road travel due to bad weather, I feel very lucky that I was spared the type of misery that rail passengers are subject to.

Michael Parfect

Cranedown, Lewes