LETTER: Passengers are left abandoned

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The following email has been sent to Eastbourne MP Caroline Ansell:

As of course you know, the Government has now decided to use taxpayers’ funds to reimburse some Southern Rail passengers, those on annual tickets, for the breakdown in services they have experienced through the last year.

I do not understand why it was decided that this is a good or fair course of action for surely it now removes from Southern management and the unions any incentive to reach agreement. That public funding can be used to pay for Southern to fight the unions is not a proper nor wise use of our resources or do you think it is?

Surely, the railways have to be responsible for the services they provide. If they cannot provide proper and decent services, then surely they have to correct the situation instead of being propped up by the Government. The unions are no better and I am not in any way suggesting that they are in the right.

It seems that the real underlying issues behind the situation are becoming clear. The Government has decided to use the current dispute to try to break the unions by encouraging Southern to not find any solution and the unions, as ever, wish to show that they have the last say and they rule supreme. That the passengers are left abandoned does not bother Southern, does not bother the unions and does not bother the Government.

The dispute is between the three of them and has nothing to do with passenger safety or passenger comfort or anything to do with passengers. But the passengers will not forget what this Government and the unions have done and how the Government has refused to help bring the dispute to an end and has exacerbated the situation and encouraged Southern to continue their fight with the unions instead of trying to reach agreement.

If Chris Grayling, Mick Cash, Mick Whelan and you were obliged to use Southern trains to and from the South Coast on a daily basis, I think matters would have been nicely resolved ages ago. You write “the rail service is ruinous and the suffering of the travelling public is simply appalling”.

So what exactly are you and this Government doing to help solve the problem ?

DAVID WHITTON

Upper Ratton Drive

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