Southern passengers to '˜mourn the death of their patience'

A three-day protest by Southern train passengers is set to '˜mourn the death of their patience'.

Southern passengers have faced almost constant delays since early 2016
Southern passengers have faced almost constant delays since early 2016

Father-of-two Robin Marchant, who lives in the Worthing area with his wife and has been commuting to London since July, started a Facebook group which has received more than 2,000 likes from people similar fed up with the service being provided by rail operator Govia Thameslink Railway and keen to demonstrate their frustration.

As a result starting tomorrow (Tuesday January 17) for three days commuters are due to lay memorial flowers and other signs of grief at key Southern stations to demonstrate the ‘death of their patience’.

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Locations include London Victoria, East Croydon, Brighton, and London Bridge.

Robin said: “Before Christmas I was on a horrendous journey of four-and-a-half hours I got really angry and started a Facebook event. It just built and grew from there.”

He asked other Southern passengers on the page for suggestions on possible action and started a poll on the best five, with a memorial event being the key winner.

Passengers are expected to lay down flowers outside stations at East Croydon and Brighton, at the obelisk near London Bridge, and the ‘little ben’ traffic island outside Victoria.

While delays to Southern trains have impacted Robin’s job in IT software development he is more frustrated by the impact on his personal life, as being delayed in the evening can mean he is not there to help his wife put his children to bed or read them stories.

He explained: “It’s just a shambles. You can end up getting chucked off at Haywards Heath, trains are constantly being cancelled. It’s just shocking.”

Although he is ‘shocked’ that the Conservative Government has not already stepped in and sorted the crisis, he felt the success of the Facebook event has been down to its apolitical nature, not seeking to apportion blame, but to urge all sides to improve performance immediately.

Robin added: “People are frustrated with the whole situation. It’s not about supporting one side or another, it’s about saying this can’t go on any more.”

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