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NEWSLETTER OCTOBER 2017

The Newsletter can be found below or you can download it in PDF format. For previous newsletters, please see the archive.

WEST SUSSEX RAIL USERS ASSOCIATION
64, Brampton Court, Stockbridge Road, Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 8PD
Tel: 01243 788028
E-mail: contact at wsrua dot org dot uk
Twitter: twitter.com/wsrua

Annual General Meeting

This is formal notice that the Annual General Meeting of the Association will be on Saturday 11 November at 10am for 10.15am in the Studio of the Capitol at Horsham (the Horsham Arts Centre).

The AGM agenda is:

  1. Welcome and Apologies
  2. Chairman’s address
  3. Treasurer’s report
  4. Approval of Minutes of AGM on 29 October 2016 and Accounts for 2016, both attached
  5. Election of Officers:
    • Chairman (One nomination - Roger Keyworth)
    • Secretary/Treasurer (One nomination - Trevor Tupper)
  6. Election of Committee members (Nominations for James Marchant, Michael Gill, Valerie Webb and Kevin Gordon)
  7. Appointment of Accounts Examiner for 2017 (nomination - Clive Pritchard)
  8. Questions to the committee
  9. Close of formal business

After the formal business our guest speaker will be Angie Doll, Southern’s Passenger Services Director. Angie will talk to us about GTR’s plans for the future and the current position on industrial relations. There 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.

Industrial Relations

The two days of strike action did have some effect on Arun Valley services with a few trains running throughout to and from Bognor with the Southampton portions failing to run. But in general, the inconvenience was bearable.

Those strikes coincided with similar action on Merseyrail, Arriva Northern and Greater Anglia and all were concerned with the role of guards/conductors. The RMT is balloting guards on South Western Railway with a view to similar action. It looks as though the RMT are coordinating the actions on Southern with those they are taking elsewhere, and so we cannot be certain there will be no further strikes or other action on Southern.

2018 Timetable

We are still waiting for final confirmation of the planned changes to the 2018 timetable for Amberley and elsewhere. We are pretty confident that the changes will be implemented and we joined the Amberley SOS celebration at the station a few days ago. We are also waiting for details of Saturday and Sunday services and these are now expected in December.

Christmas and New Year services  

Christmas is some weeks off, but we know many members need to plan ahead. With this in mind, we have put together this summary of planned changes over the festive period.

There will be no Southern, Thameslink or Gatwick Express train services on Christmas Day and Boxing Day. On Christmas Eve, Sunday 24 December, services will shut down early from 20:00.

There will closures and major service changes between 23 December and New Year’s Day over much of our network as Network Rail carries out engineering work. The details of changes for this 10 day period are:

Membership Renewal

I sent out a renewal forms in Septembers to those who had not paid their 2017 subscription. If you have not paid, please let me have your payment as soon as possible or at the AGM, if you are attending. If you no longer wish to remain a member, please let me know.

Trevor Tupper
Membership Secretary


Facebook

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. 


Community Rail Partnership

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.


Eyewitness

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 Launches Southern’s Eyewitness Initiative

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.

Photograph from Eyewitness launch at Arundel station


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