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
Our AGM took place on Saturday 26th May and you can download the minutes by following the link on the News page of the website. The elected Officers for 2012 are: Chairman - Monica Edmonds, who will be shadowed by Paul Brady (also representing Amberley) for a few months with a view to Paul taking on the role, Secretary - Moira Tracey (also representing Crawley), and Treasurer and Membership Secretary – Trevor Tupper (also representing stations on the West Coastway other than Chichester, Bosham and Bognor). The committee members elected are Roger Leat (Bognor Regis), Jake Clausen (Littlehaven); Valerie Webb (Pulborough), Jane Cobb (Horsham), Peter Bulling (Barnham), Roger Keyworth (Chichester), Michael Cover (Bosham) and Kevin Gordon (Website). We are still looking for new Committee members to represent Arundel, Billingshurst, Ifield, Littlehampton, Angmering and Worthing. If you are interested, please let me know.
Your Committee is going to be heavily involved in the preliminaries leading up to the issue of the invitation to tender which will be issued by Department for Transport (DfT) to the 5 shortlisted bidders for the Franchise due to start in September 2013. We will be working with Passenger Focus and Rail Future as well as consulting other local Rail User groups. We have already met DfT for a briefing meeting on shaping the Franchise and we will be writing to them with our priorities for the new Franchise within the next few weeks. We will then the 5 bidders to discuss their proposals for the Franchise and to let them know our priorities. We need your help to establish the priorities for West Sussex rail users and the best way you can do this is by completing the short questionnaire which is on our website at http://survey.wsrua.org.uk. We urge you to look at the questionnaire and then to complete it on line. The questionnaire is also included in this Newsletter (see PDF version) so that you can see what we are asking for before you look at the website. If, for any reason, you are unable to access and complete the on-line version, please complete the manual form and return it to me by 31st July. Additional comments are welcome with the form or by e-mail to the address above.
With very little notice to both Southern and passengers, Rail Gourmet closed their Bognor depot and withdrew their trolley service from Arun Valley trains during June. They claim that the trolleys on our line have been very unprofitable despite support from Southern. So we are without refreshments on our trains for the first time for over 100 years. We have suggested various options and alternatives to Southern and hopefully we will have this valuable service restored. In the meantime, just a reminder that you can stock up beforehand (or even en-route if you are quick at Horsham!) at the buffets on Chichester, Bognor, Barnham, Pulborough, Horsham, Crawley and Three Bridges stations.
Southern has extended the discounts for on-line bookings. The discount for advance tickets has been reduced to 25% but for other off-peak tickets it has been increased to 12%. These offers now cease on 23rd August. As tickets can be bought up to 3 months in advance, this means that those who can plan ahead can take advantage of these discounts for travel up to mid-October.