The Newsletter can be found below or you can download it in PDF format.
WEST SUSSEX RAIL USERS ASSOCIATION
64, Brampton Court, Stockbridge Road, Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 8PD
Tel: 01243 788028
The ASLEF overtime ban seriously affected Southern services last Friday and it is expected that there will be similar problems on the two non-strike days this week - Monday 12 and Thursday 15 December. On these days there should again be a near normal service between Bognor and Victoria in each direction. As on last Friday, none of these trains will attach or detach a Portsmouth or Southampton portion at Horsham and so it will be necessary for Chichester passengers to use a Coastway service to and from Barnham and change there into or out of the Bognor to Victoria services. The exception to this is that the 05.12 from Chichester to Victoria via Worthing and the 05.33 via Horsham will run as usual. The 06.54 Bognor to London Bridge will not attach a Southampton portion at Barnham and there will be no through train from London Bridge in the evening, as the 17.48 from London Bridge to Bognor has been cancelled All services from Victoria to Bognor should run in their normal times with the last trains to Bognor from Victoria at 20.02, 20.32, 21.32 and 22.32. None of the Bognor trains will have a portion for either Portsmouth or Southampton and the 22.32 that normally runs to Chichester will run to Bognor and there will be no Chichester connection off this train. So the last train to Chichester will be at 21.32. West Coastway trains between Brighton and Portsmouth/Southampton and Portsmouth to Littlehampton will largely be unaffected. Southern are unable at this time to say whether a similar service will be in force on the non-strike days next week (Wednesday 21 to Friday 23 December) and whether the services on Saturday 17 and 24 December will be similar to yesterday’s when a near normal service was in force.
The ASLEF drivers’ strike will be far more serious as there will be no Southern trains on the 3 days this week or the 6 days in January. There will be no replacement buses for any of the services. There will be a normal Thameslink service from stations between Brighton, Three Bridges, Gatwick and East Croydon, Blackfriars to Bedford. South West trains will be running a normal service from Havant, Haslemere, Guildford to Waterloo and from Dorking to Waterloo. Some seasons from Horsham may be inter-available on the last mentioned route.
The RMT conductors’ strike on 19 and 20 December will have similar effects on services as those in recent weeks. There will be service on some routes and only a limited service on others. The lines with no service include: Clapham Junction to Milton Keynes via Kensington Olympia; Preston Park to Hove and Chichester to Portsmouth Harbour and Southampton Central (but there will be buses between Chichester and Havant). For these strike days, there will be trains from 06.30 to 22.00 between Chichester and Victoria via Horsham, Gatwick and Redhill. The services between Brighton to Bognor via Littlehampton will run from 0620 to 18.00; Horsham to Victoria via and Sutton will run from 06.00 to 20.00. Trains between Redhill to Tonbridge will run from 06.00 to 20.00. There will also be buses every 30 minutes between Chichester and Havant between 06.00 and 18.30 although the latest timetable suggests that these may run later into the evening. Faygate, Salfords and Earlswood will be closed.
Timetables of these services are at http://www.southernrailway.com/your-journey/strike/conductor-strike/ on the Southern website. These trains are expected to be extremely busy especially in the peak hours and Southern cannot guarantee there will be space for you to travel. Also, try to avoid planning to travel on the last trains of the day - if you are unable to board services they will not be able to arrange alternative transport. On all Southern and Gatwick Express trains first class accommodation will be declassified. Similarly first class on Thameslink will be declassified between Brighton and London. Normal peak hour ticket restrictions will remain in force. The timetables are basically similar to those for previous strike days and show that there will be a train every 30 minutes along the Arun Valley from Victoria to Chichester calling at all stations and starting around 06.30 but with the last train from Victoria through to Chichester at 21.39 (Bognor’s last connection will be off the 17.03 from Victoria). In the opposite direction the last train from Chichester to Victoria will be at 21.23 (Bognor’s last connection will be at 18.50) followed by a 21.53 to Horsham. Along the West Coastway there will be a train every 30 minutes until 1800 between Brighton and Bognor via Littlehampton. This connects with the Chichester to Victoria trains at Barnham. There will be no direct trains between Littlehampton and Victoria via Hove, so a change of train at Brighton will be necessary for those travelling from stations between Littlehampton and Hove. I have tried to simplify the Arun Valley timetable with its onward connections in the table on the next page and I hope you will find it helpful. But remember to keep your eye on the website in case there are last minute changes.
What we are doing: We continue to talk to Southern management about this. I have also written to all our MPs and discussed the strikes with the Secretary of State for Transport. All take the line is that the disputes can only be resolved by the Unions and that the RMT should ballot its members on the Southern offers. We too have suggested this to Mick Cash of the RMT but our letters have been ignored. We will continue our efforts for our members and for all rail users in the county.
b – change at Barnham; e – change at East Croydon; t – change at Three Bridges; g – change at Gatwick
The West Coastway timetable is an all stations service starting from Bognor at 0650, Barnham 0705, Littlehampton 0718, Worthing 0738 arriving Brighton 0806. The service is repeated every 30 minutes with the last train from Bognor at 1820 arriving Brighton 1936. In the opposite direction the first train is 0716 from Brighton arriving Bognor at 0831. The last one is 1746 from Brighton arriving Bognor at 1901. The replacement bus service between Chichester and Havant will leave Chichester at 0648, 0719, 0805, 0840 and then every 30 minutes until 1910; from Havant at 0610, 0640 and then every 30 minutes to 1740. The buses will have an approximate overall journey time of 35 minutes and will serve all stations with stops at Southbourne, Nutbourne and Fishbourne at the railway stops on the A259.
There is an hourly service (with some bus replacement) between Horsham and Victoria via Dorking calling at all stations. Trains leave Horsham at 0549, 0621 0653, 0720, 0753, 0841 bus to Dorking, 1004 and hourly to 1404, 1441 bus to Dorking, 1604, 1707, 1734, 1741 bus to Dorking, 1904 and 2006. From Victoria trains leave at 0552, 0617, 0706, 0819, 0931,1031, 1132, 1232, 1331 (bus from Dorking), 1431, 1531, 1617 (bus from Dorking), 1720, 1750, 1820, 1920 and 2326.
Finally on behalf of your Committee, may I wish you a very happy Christmas and a dispute free New Year (after 14 January!)