Businesses in Eastbourne are again being urged to speak out, if they’ve been affected by strike action on Southern Rail.
Conductors and train drivers – members of the RMT and ASLEF unions – have been taking industrial action for several months in protest to the introduction of driver-only trains. Both unions say the move is unsafe and want to ensure a second safety critical staff member is on services. Southern dispute this, saying driver-only is safe and is a modern way of working.
Now, Eastbourne Chamber of Commerce wants to hear from companies, whose takings have suffered as a result of the long-running dispute. They will take what they find to the Government, demanding they step in to find a solution that works for everyone – both those working on Southern and those running the company, as well as passengers and businesses, who rely on trains to ferry staff and clients to and from the town.
Chamber President, Tim Cobb said, "The continued strike action and delays have had a devastating impact on our local economy, and that of East Sussex for well over a year. Whilst we remain non-political, we also believe that the ongoing deadlock between the unions, Southern Rail (Govia Thameslink) and the Department for Transport is only serving to prolong the chaos. We believe that the Government has a responsibility to ensure our trains are running, and should now intervene, with no pre-conditions to ensure a resolution to this strike.
"These strikes have only served to demonstrate that whilst East Sussex remains one of the 15 areas of growth, its economic potential is held back by a failure to invest in our infrastructure. With the poor condition of the A27, the A259, rail and indeed the capacity of Gatwick Airport, now is the time for Government to show that Sussex is open for business and demonstrate the same confidence in our area that businesses have"
The survey can be found here.