Your political editor Joshua Powling missed a significant point in his article [on August 26] (Fresh two-day rail strike called by unions in dispute with Southern).
The objections by the RMT, and passengers, are about much more than who operates the doors on the train.
It’s about maintaining a high-level of service and safety. The changes are all to do with giving passengers a cheaper, lower-quality service. It seems passengers on Southern are being used as a test case, one could say experimentally, in an effort to bring this policy in nationally.
Passengers at Seaford and Newhaven have been treated especially appallingly and one can understand their protests. They are surely correct to target Chris Grayling, Transport Minister, whose department is responsible for supporting and promoting the changes, fronted up by Govia/Southern, which are the root cause of the dispute.
However, judging by his remarks, and those of others, the changes are Conservative Party policy and will be supported by local Conservative MPs, such as Maria Caulfield and Nus Ghani.
One would think our MPs would put their constituents first and tell their minister they will withdraw their support for him unless he, Govia/Southern and the RMT are made to sit in a locked room and not allowed out until an agreement can be reached.
Sadly that does not seem likely; the dispute will continue and the misery will mount up. Where are ourelected representatives when you need them?
High Street, Lewes