Eastbourne business leaders call for demo on Southern strikes

Eastbourne Chamber of Commerce has called for a demo on the 'Great Train Robbery' SUS-170217-131354001
Eastbourne Chamber of Commerce has called for a demo on the 'Great Train Robbery' SUS-170217-131354001
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Eastbourne Chamber of Commerce has called for a demonstration against the continued chaos caused by the Southern rail dispute.

It is calling the public to join in outside Eastbourne Railway Station on Monday morning (February 10) against the more than 20,000 journeys that have been cancelled and continued damage to local businesses.

The Chamber says it is remaining non-political, and calling on leaders on both sides to work together to bring a fast resolution to the dispute.

It has called out Secretary of State for Transport Chris Grayling MP, Rail Minister Paul Maynard MP, Mick Cash (General Secretary RMT), Mick Whelan (General Secretary ASLEF), Charles Horton (Chief Operating Officer GTR) and David Brown (Chief Executive, Go-Ahead) as ‘The Great Train Robbers’.

A spokesperson said, “Collectively, these agencies have robbed more than £308m from the local economy, endangered jobs and our members’ businesses.

“We ask that you join us for the protest. We do not take this action lightly.

“As a Chamber we remain non-political. But part of our responsibility is to stand up on behalf of our members when our business interests are threatened.

“Already, we have seen lower footfall in our town centre and decreased attendance at our major tourism events and venues.

“We have heard first hand of the struggles our business community is having and the loss of jobs as a direct impact of the strikes and the poor performance of GTR.

“We do not apportion blame to any one particular agency or individual – it is the collective failings of all parties in this joint enterprise.

“We cannot allow this dispute and poor service to continue indefinitely. It is well over a year since this disruption started – it must now end.”

The demonstration will take place on Monday (February 20) at 6.45am outside the taxi rank of the station.