WEST SUSSEX RAIL USERS ASSOCIATION
64, Brampton Court, Stockbridge Road, Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 8PD
Tel: 01243 788028
ASLEF and RMT have announced that all industrial action on Southern has been suspended. This includes the current ASLEF overtime ban, the 3 days of strikes by ASLEF in the first week of August and the RMT conductors’ strike on 1 August. We understand that talks will now take place between the Unions and Department for Transport Ministers, presumably covering not only Southern but the other Train Operating companies with similar disputes. The amended timetable introduced in June will remain in place until Friday 21 July as it is not possible to re-deploy staff at this short notice. Southern plans to operate the full timetable this Saturday and Sunday. The full weekday timetable will be reintroduced from Monday 24 July so our London trains will resume splitting and joining with through services to Chichester and Portsmouth/Southampton. We hope that the talks succeed and bring an end to this dispute which has now been going on for nearly 18 months.
While this work takes place, there will be a severely reduced South West Trains service on many routes. This will increase passenger numbers on many Southern routes and may change the route we recommend you take for your journey. If possible, you are advised to avoid travelling at peak times and to allow longer for your journey.
There will be a reduced number of services calling at Clapham Junction towards London Victoria between 16:00 and 20:00 on Mondays to Fridays as certain services will not call at Clapham Junction to prevent overcrowding at the station. In general, only Mainline services (those that normally run non-stop between East Croydon and Clapham Junction) will be affected and Metro services will call as normal, however please check your own journey before you travel by visiting nationalrail.co.uk and using the journey planner.
With the significant reduction in South West Trains services, Southern services between Southampton and Portsmouth to London are expected to be considerably busier than usual as passengers who usually use London Waterloo seek alternative routes:
All Southern and Thameslink services to and from London are expected to be busier than usual. You are advised to allow extra time for your journeys and to avoid travelling at peak times where possible. Queuing systems will be in place at some locations.
Clapham Junction station will be very busy and it may be necessary to restrict access there. You may have to queue to enter the station or to board connecting services. You are strongly advised to travel outside peak times from this station. If interchanging please consider alternative routes. You are strongly advised to avoid interchanging at Clapham Junction. South West Trains services at this station will be very limited so journeys may be considerably extended. Queuing systems are expected to be in place even if you are not interchanging with South West Trains services. Please consider travelling on services to London Bridge and changing for Southeastern services to/from Waterloo East*. Alternatively, use Thameslink services to Blackfriars which is a short walk from London Bridge. *Please note that there will be no Southeastern service at London Bridge, Cannon Street, Waterloo East or Charing Cross from 26 August until 2 September due to major route improvement work.
Services on all South West Trains routes from Clapham Junction (including those away from London) will be reduced and interchange with London Overground services at Clapham Junction will take longer.
There will be no Southeastern services calling at London Bridge, Cannon Street, Waterloo East or Charing Cross between Saturday 26 August and Saturday 2 September because of major route upgrade work. Although Southern and Thameslink services are not altered because of this work, trains on many routes are expected to be busier. You should allow extra time for your journeys and travel outside busy times if possible.
There are no major works affecting our services over the Bank Holiday weekend. From Monday 28 to Thursday 31 August Network Rail will be carrying out engineering work between Horsham and Barnham closing the line with buses replacing trains between 22:00 to 04:00 each night. There will be no trains to or from London Bridge via Sydenham on Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 August and trains that usually run between London Bridge and Horsham will be diverted to Victoria.
The second stage of the consultation on the 2018 timetable is now coming to an end. We met the GTR timetable team today and discussed the detailed proposals. We can now confirm that there will be two Arun Valley services running to and from London Bridge and both will have a portion for Chichester and Portsmouth joining and splitting at Horsham. The first of these will leave Portsmouth at 05.28 and call all stations to Chichester 06.08 and Barnham 06.16 and then Horsham where it will join to the 05.56 from Bognor which will call at all stations to Horsham. The combined train will leave Horsham at 06.52 and arrive London Bridge at 07.43. The second London Bridge train will leave Southampton at 06.10, Chichester 07.09, Barnham 0718 where it will be joined to the 07.00 from Bognor calling at all stations to Horsham except Amberley. The combined train will leave Horsham at 07.52 and arrive London Bridge at 08.43. From London Bridge there will be trains at 17.03 and 18.03 arriving Horsham at 17.50 and 18.50 where they will divide. The front portion will call Barnham18.22, Chichester 18.31 then Fishbourne, Bosham and stations to Portsmouth. The rear portion will call all stations except Amberley to Bognor at 18.42. The second train from London Bridge will run exactly 1 hour later to the same stations. We have asked the GTR team whether an Amberley stop could be added to the 18.03 train and they will see whether this is possible. The services between Victoria and Bognor/Portsmouth/ Southampton will remain much as now except that the 16.36 from Victoria will split at Horsham rather than Three Bridges, and the 18.06 will not have a Chichester and Portsmouth portion – this is effectively replaced by the Portsmouth portion of the 18.03 from London Bridge.
Most members have now paid their 2017 subscriptions. If you have not paid, a renewal form was enclosed with last month’s Newsletter and we would be grateful if any outstanding amounts could be paid as soon as possible. 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.