Eastbourne MP on Southern agreement: ‘We’re not out the woods yet’

Eastbourne MP Caroline Ansell
Eastbourne MP Caroline Ansell

Eastbourne MP Caroline Ansell has praised the deal today (Thursday, February 2) between the train driver’s union and Southern Rail, calling it ‘real progress’ – but she says ‘we are not quite out of the woods yet’.

An agreement was reached in talks today between ASLEF and Govia Thameslink Railway, which owns Southern, regarding the company’s introduction of on board supervisors and driver-only operation. Now ASLEF members will be balloted on the deal.

Mrs Ansell said, “This is a significant development and one that will be greeted with relief by Southern passengers, even though it must be ratified by ASLEF members so we are not quite out of the woods yet.

“I would like to thank the union and Govia Thameslink for sitting down over many days to come to this deal which, it appears, satisfies both sides regarding GTR’s modernisation programme and the union’s safety concerns.

“Unfortunately, the dispute with the RMT union remains. I sincerely hope the GTR and the RMT will now sit around the table and thrash out a deal too.

“This news is real progress, but let’s now hope a further deal can be quickly achieved between the RMT and GTR so this terrible dispute, which has caused so much heartache, can finally be resolved.”