You are correct in stating that the train service provided by Southern Railway is completely unacceptable.
On the other hand I do not agree it is all the fault of Southern Rail.
Your correspondent Jethro Pettit’s was misinformed that the company is proposing to introduce single person operation. From where did he get his information? One can only assume that he has been misled by somebody who supports the strike.
The strike is about who closes the doors.
Yes, I can understand the fear of the staff and I think Southern Rail should give a pledge not to introduce single manning during their present franchise.
I assume the new railway stock has been designed for driver closure of the doors and if the union demand was satisfied the new higher capacity stock would have to be returned to the manufacturer for modification resulting in a delay of it’s introduction.
Is this what passengers want?
First I would like to confirm that I am not associated with Southern Rail but I am an occasional disabled passenger. I therefore welcome the first duty of the conductor is to ensure passenger safety including helping to evacuate the train in the event of an accident.
The RMT have an ambition to ensure the railway is re-nationlised, but this can only be decided by our elected politicians and not by causing massive inconvenience to passengers. I do not know who wrote the technical specification for the new stock but I don’t think it was Southern Rail. It should be noted that the RMT Union is also taking similar action in Scotland.
Lastly, far too many delays are caused by the national company Network Rail particularly by failure of the signalling and power supplies.