WEST SUSSEX RAIL USERS ASSOCIATION
64, Brampton Court, Stockbridge Road, Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 8PD
Tel: 01243 788028
At last we seem to have a reliable timetable with a good performance especially by Southern. A performance marred by a number of Network Rail’s infrastructure problems such as signal and points failures, emergency engineering works together with trespassers, suicides and storm damage. As you may recall from earlier Newsletters, the new full Southern timetable was actually introduced in May and has worked well. The interim weekday Thameslink timetable from 16 July omitted 4 trains between Horsham, London Bridge and Peterborough in each direction. There were the services from Horsham at 11.25, 14.55, 17.25 and 20.55 and those from London Bridge to Horsham at 10.00, 13.30, 16.00 and 22.00. Although “missing” Thameslink services have been put back into the timetable during September, none of these 8 trains have been restored; however to cover the missing 20.55 from Horsham there is a replacement bus leaving there at 20.35 which calls at Littlehaven 20.41, Ifield 20.58, Crawley 21.08 arriving Three Bridges at 21.15. We hope that these missing Thameslink trains will be restored within the next few weeks.
This is formal notice that the Annual General Meeting of the Association will be on Saturday 3 November at 10am for 10.15am in the Studio of the Capitol at Horsham (the Horsham Arts Centre).
The AGM AGENDA is:
After the formal business our guest speaker will be Angie Doll, hern’s Passenger Services Director. Angie will talk to us about GTR’s plans for the future, including any timetable changes planned for this December and next May, and whether we are now clear from the sort of industrial action still taking place on Northern and South Western Railway. We would also like some reassurance that any spare 377s are used on the West Coastway rather than going to South Eastern. There is a desperate need for these, particularly between Brighton and Portsmouth rather than the 40 year old toiletless class 313s. There will be ample time for you to ask questions on Southern’s recent performance and other matters.
We hope that you we be able to attend the meeting. If you are unable to join us and have a question for the Committee or Angie Doll, please let me have the details as soon as possible.
Most members have now paid their 2018 subscriptions. If you have not paid, a renewal form is enclosed and we would be grateful if any outstanding amounts could be paid as soon as possible or, at the AGM if you attend. If you no longer wish to remain a member, please let me know by e-mail, post or telephone.
We now have a Facebook page at facebook.com/wsrua. Please “like” it if you want to keep in touch and contribute through that medium.
WSRUA gave a brief presentation on our work and current activities at the Community Rail Partnership stakeholder event held on 1st November 2012 at Christ's Hospital School. A copy of the slide set is available to view here (PDF). We are continuing our close involvement with the CRP, of which our current secretary/treasurer is vice-chair.
Below is a Southern Press Notice about their Eyewitness initiative to deter and report low-level crime on the Arun Valley line.
Policing and Criminal Justice Minister, Nick Herbert MP has launched Southern’s internal Eyewitness initiative to the public for the first time at Arundel railway station.
Mr Herbert joined Southern senior staff, Rail User Group and West Sussex Community Rail Partnership representatives to launch a trial of Southern’s award winning low-level crime reporting system to passengers who use Southern services between Arundel and Crawley.
Eyewitness is a scheme which allows the reporting of low-level crime by e-mail. The system has been used successfully as an in-house system where Southern staff have e-mailed members of Southern’s Safer Travel and Revenue Protection Teams to report incidences of vandalism, anti-social behaviour and fare evasion. The system allows Southern to respond quickly where officers are in the area, and to identify patterns, trends and hotspots which enables more intelligent deployment of Rail Neighbourhood Officers and Revenue Protection Officers when detailing patrols.
Commenting on the initiative, Mr Herbert said: "I was delighted to help launch the next phase of Southern's Eyewitness scheme which will provide passengers with an effective way to report antisocial behaviour on trains.
"This is further action by Southern who already fund Rail Neighbourhood Officers to help tackle crime and provide a reassuring uniformed presence on trains and at stations. The scheme doesn’t replace police officers, it adds to them, and I believe it's welcomed by the public.
"The minority who can make rail journeys miserable for everyone else need to be dealt with, and I am pleased that Southern is playing its part."
Southern’s Head of Revenue Protection and Security, Martin Grier said: “Eyewitness has been a tremendous success since we introduced it internally 18 months ago. Now we look forward to even better results now that we are asking our passengers to tell us about low-level crime that they have seen.”
In the last 12 months, reported crime on the Arun Valley has fallen overall by 71%. At Billingshurst station, incidences of crime reduced from 28 last year to zero this year.
Passengers witnessing crime between Arundel and Crawley stations can report what they’ve see, where they saw it, when they saw it and a brief description of the offender(s) by sending an e-mail to the dedicated address found on posters at leaflets at staffed stations between Arundel and Crawley.