Eastbourne is being called upon to literally make a stand against the long-running rail dispute.
A demonstration’s being organised by the Chamber of Commerce for 6.45am Monday morning (20 February) outside Eastbourne Railway Station. They want as many people to join them as possible to call for politicians, unions and the rail company to work together to put an end to the 10-month row over the future of guards on trains and the introduction of driver-only operations. The unions believe losing a safety critical person on the trains will be detrimental to passenger safety, but Southern say it is just modernising the way they run their trains.
A Chamber spokesperson said, “As a Chamber we remain non-political. But part of our responsibility is to stand up on behalf of our members when our business interests are threatened. Already, we have seen lower footfall in our town centre and decreased attendance at our major tourism events and venues. We have heard first hand of the struggles our business community is having and the loss of jobs as a direct impact of the strikes and the poor performance of GTR.
“We do not apportion blame to any one particular agency or individual - it is the collective failings of all parties in this joint enterprise. We cannot allow this dispute and poor service to continue indefinitely. It is well over a year since this disruption started - it must now end.
“Join us - this Monday 20th February - 6.45am outside the taxi rank of the train station (closest to the Enterprise Centre).”