Eastbourne’s MP has called on the Government to compensate traders at the town’s railway station whose takings have been hit by strike action by Southern train staff.
Caroline Ansell has written to rail minister Paul Maynard telling him that some traders on the station concourse have seen their takings fall by half and one business is even closing on strike days as it cannot afford the labour costs.
Both train drivers’ union ASLEF and the RMT, which represents conductors due to be transferred to the role of on-board supervisors, are locked in a dispute with rail operator Govia Thameslink Railway over plans to introduce driver-only operation on Southern services.
It would mean that drivers would be responsible for opening and closing train doors, with both unions raising safety concerns about the potential loss of a second safety critical member of staff aboard services.
ASLEF is due to strike on Tuesday January 10, Wednesday January 11, and Friday January 13.
Ms Ansell asked the minister to ‘consider what support or compensation is made available to ensure that independent traders do not lose their livelihoods as a result of this protracted and unnecessary strike action’.
She added: “These traders have become the latest victims of this dispute through absolutely no fault of their own and I am hoping the minister will do something to help them through this extremely difficult period.
“Small businesses are vital to the prosperity of Eastbourne and the UK as a whole and I will be pressing hard to ensure they are not forgotten during the dispute and that something constructive is done to support them.”
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