LETTER: Remember the rail fiasco

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I hope that your readers will remember the Southern Rail fiasco and the Conservatives’ failure to act on it when they go to vote.

The delays, cancellations and suspension of services – including the full suspension of the Lewes-Seaford branch caused absolute misery for so many of the 40,000 residents of Seaford and Newhaven last year. Parents missed bedtime stories, students missed classes, commuters buckled under the pressure, pensioners struggled to get to health appointments and walkers stopped using Seaford station as the most convenient start for the Seven Sisters walk, having a significant impact on Seaford’s economy.

The Conservatives failed to get the situation in hand and inexplicably supported Southern Rail throughout the crisis, giving them an irritating opportunity to peddle their PR messages in a public meeting. Maria Caulfield was quick to act in trying to take credit when the trains were restored, a rather foolish move that angered residents who knew she did very little to tackle the situation and did not see the long wait for the restoration of normal services as a victory.

New rail threats are on the horizon with plans for another driver overtime ban imminent and the disastrous proposed 2018 timetable. Kelly-Marie Blundell organised a petition in Seaford against the proposed timetable changes which have been presented in a misleading way and poorly consulted on. As a Seaford resident and train-user Kelly-Marie Blundell understands just how bad it got and how bad it could get again unless we have a change in our member of parliament, and ideally our government. Only the Liberal Democrats’ manifesto commits to putting an end to Southern Rail’s contract.

Fiona Lewis

Train protest organiser

Southdown Road, Seaford