No one could disagree that the management of this franchise is absolutely appalling.
The demonstration outside Seaford station on Tuesday 12th and the public meeting on Thursday 14th could not have demonstrated more clearly how desperate, angry and frustrated residents along the Seaford to Lewes line are.
Over and over we were told that the revised timetable and cancellations [they still happen!] were due to “industrial action”.
If there are insufficient personnel to run the scheduled services this is due to gross mismanagement and under-recruitment, nothing else.
No one is questioning the role of the government in all this.
They granted Govia the franchise, they take the revenue and have an interest in lowering staffing costs.
An exasperated government rail official at a public meeting in Croydon, referring to train drivers, is quoted thus, “they will have to decide if they want to give a good service or get the hell out of my industry”. The rail minister, Claire Perry resigned, “often ashamed to be the rail minister”.
It seems that changing the terms and conditions of railway staff is a nationwide issue and firmly on the government agenda.
I don’t often quote the Telegraph, but they ask a very valid question: “Who is responsible for rescuing the financial centre of Europe from a train timetable that would be an embarrassment in the back of beyond?”.
Penny Lower [Labour Councillor, Seaford Central]
Sutton Park Road