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
As you will have heard, Southern are introducing revised timetables to counteract the effects of the current problems with conductor and driver sickness. The revised timetables for Monday to Friday services, which are expected to last for 4 weeks, can be found at http://www.southernrailway.com/your-journey/revised-timetable. I have had a look at the timetables and, hopefully, these should give more certainty to passengers than the current hit and miss experiences. Fortunately for the bulk of our members, there is only one change to the current advertised service on the Arun Valley line and this is to the 07.17 from Bognor to Victoria. This train will now start at Barnham at 07.24. There is no real alternative for Bognor passengers other than to join the 06.57 to London Bridge or the 07.55 to Victoria. North of Horsham, there is only one change with the withdrawal of the 14.30 from Horsham to London Bridge.
There are more extensive changes to the West Coastway services with the withdrawal of all the hourly direct services from Brighton to Southampton apart from 2 early morning trains at 05.13 and 07.05 (06.11 and 07.52 from Chichester). But the hourly service from Victoria to Southampton via Horsham, Barnham and Chichester will still run in each direction. The stopping service from Littlehampton to Portsmouth will be heavily amended with two morning services in each direction between Chichester and Fishbourne, Bosham and Nutbourne being replaced by buses. These are the current 08.01 and 09.12 from Chichester, which will be replaced by buses leaving at 08.05 and 09.15, arriving at Fishbourne (A259) 08.11 and 09.21, Bosham 08.15and 09.25 and Nutbourne (A259) at 08.19 and 09.29. In the opposite direction the trains from Nutbourne at 09.26 and 10.26 will be replaced by buses leaving at 09.37 and 10.37, then Bosham 09.41 and 10.41, Fishbourne 09.45 and 10.45 arriving Chichester at 09.51 and 10.51.
Tony Cash has stood down from his role as Chairman, and I have volunteered to be co-opted as Chairman until the AGM. We have been asked whether we have made any comment about the RMT and Southern dispute and for good reasons have decided not to make any comment, all we can do is to hope that arbitration will work and that we will be back to something like normality soon. A similar situation exists on ScotRail where various strike days are scheduled. The current dispute aside, it is worth remembering that not all the delays we have experienced in recent months are the fault of Southern. Network Rail is responsible for the infrastructure, e.g. signal/points problems, level crossing difficulties and track speed restrictions such as Yapton. Southern is responsible for providing trains that do not break down and staff who work: passengers can fall ill or commit suicide thus delaying the service. It is also worth remembering that the GTR franchise is a management contract under which the DfT specify the service, receive all the fares income and pay GTR an agreed fee for operating the service.
We will continue to talk to Southern and Network Rail. Trevor and I receive regular reports from Southern on future plans, timetables and the current disputes and, of course, we will keep you informed about these.