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
Southern has been advised by the RMT Union that its conductor members will strike from 00.01 on Wednesday 7 September until 23.59 on Thursday 8 September. This will have a significant effect on Southern services on the whole of the days affected, with no service on many routes and only a limited service between approximately 07.30 and 18.00 on others.
It is expected that no Southern trains will operate in either direction on several routes including: Clapham Junction to Milton Keynes via Kensington Olympia; Dorking to Horsham; Preston Park to Hove; Chichester to Portsmouth Harbour and Southampton Central; Redhill to Tonbridge. Earlswood, Salfords and Faygate stations will not be served. Three Bridges to Chichester via Horsham; Three Bridges to Victoria via Gatwick and Redhill; Brighton to Bognor via Littlehampton; and Brighton to Eastbourne via Lewes.
A timetable of these services is provided on the Southern website at http://www.southernrailway.com/your-journey/strike/. These trains are expected to be extremely busy and Southern cannot guarantee there will be space for you to travel. Southern strongly advise you to travel outside peak times where possible. They also advise you 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. Please note that the last trains of the day on the above routes are at approximately 18.00; or even earlier where your journey requires a change at either Three Bridges or Brighton.
The timetables are similar to those for previous strike days and show that there will be a train every 30 minutes along the Arun Valley from Three Bridges to Chichester calling at all stations and starting around 0630 and ending around 1800. These trains connect with a Southern service running between Three Bridges and Victoria as well as with Thameslink services that are not affected by the dispute. Along the West Coastway there will be a train every 30 minutes between Brighton and Bognor via Littlehampton. This connects with the Chichester to Three Bridges 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 into 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.
A bit of good news is that the threatened RMT strike of station staff on 7 September on the changes to ticket office hours has been postponed. Also the threat of an ASLEF strike of drivers has receded. Your Association is trying its best in these troubled times. We have talked to Southern several times and tried, without success, to engage the RMT. I wrote to Nick Herbert MP last month setting out our view of the dispute which now seems to be between the RMT and the Government (the Department for Transport). Nick copied our letter to all the other West Sussex MPs and several have responded agreeing our view. I then wrote to the Secretary of State, Chris Grayling asking for the DfT. who control the Management Contract that is the GTR Franchise, to assist in settling this dispute. So far there has been no response. We will continue to do what we can.
This is to give formal notice that the Annual General Meeting of the Association will be at 10am on Saturday 29 October in the Studio of the Capitol Theatre, North Road, Horsham, RH12 1RG. The Capitol is a few minutes’ walk from the main entrance of Horsham Station in the direction of the town centre. Refreshments will be available for purchase from the Capitol’s own kiosk.
As in 2015, we have had to postpone the AGM from June. The primary reason has been the continuing industrial action and the uncertainty of whether services would be running on the day of the meeting. Added to this have been the changes in the Committee and the non-availability of the Capitol at Horsham during September and early October. We have also reverted to a Saturday morning meeting after comments last year from those unable to attend the weekday evening meeting. The Saturday date may also be “safer” option for those travelling back south after the meeting if the current industrial action continues or if the late night engineering work is resumed.
This year our guest speaker will be Alex Foulds, Southern’s Passenger Services Director. Mr Foulds will address us after the formal business of the AGM has been completed and there be ample time for you to ask questions on Southern’s recent performance and their plans for the future.
The formal business of the AGM will be the Chairman’s report, approving the accounts already circulated and the election of the Committee. The current Officers are Chairman, Roger Keyworth representing Chichester, Secretary and Treasurer, Trevor Tupper (also representing stations on the West Coastway other than Chichester), Valerie Webb (Pulborough), Michael Gill (Arundel), James Marchant (Billingshurst) and Kevin Gordon (Website). Some of our stations are now unrepresented and we are seeking asking members to represent Barnham, Horsham and Crawley.
|Blackfriars||t or e||0820||0849||0909||0937||1951||1951|
|Blackfriars||t or e||0633||0728||1658||1720||1740|
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 0804. The service is repeated every 30 minutes with the last train from Bognor at 1750 arriving Brighton 1904. In the opposite direction the first train is 0716 from Brighton arriving Bognor at 0832. The last one is 1746 from Brighton arriving Bognor at 1902 with a following 1816 to Littlehampton only.