Polegate Parliamentary Candidates Condemn Rail Strike

Thursday 18th May 2017

eastbourne buzz news - Polegate Level Crossing

The latest round of industrial action to hit Southern commuters in Polegate, is being condemned by the parliamentary candidates standing in the town.

Earlier this week, the RMT announced its members would be walking out on Tuesday 30 May for 24 hours, with the drivers’ union ASLEF confirming its members would no longer work overtime from the end of the month.

In alphabetical order, the Liberal Democrat candidate, Kelly-Marie Blundell said, "Residents in Lewes, Newhaven. Polegate and Seaford are now set to be blighted by Southern Rail Strikes again. For many that could lead to job losses, as we saw last year, as well as ongoing disruption to family and social lives. 

"Our towns are the worst treated in the Southern Rail disputes, and I demand to know why, after 18 months, the Government still failed to resolve the ongoing disputes.

"Let's not forget it is the Department of Transport who require the move to Driver Operated Trains, specified in the contracts, and kicking off this whole row. 

"Most people agree we need a second person on a train - for safety, to help those who are vulnerable or disabled and to watch out on our largely unmanned station. 

"The Lib Dems are committed to sacking Southern Rail and giving the contract to an operator who can run the trains, and resolve the disputes with the unions." 

Meanwhile, the Conservative candidate, Maria Caulfield said, “Having worked hard over the last eighteen months to try and broker an agreement between the unions and southern rail, I am disappointed that once again talks have failed.

"This is especially frustrating given that performance is at a record high for Southern Rail. My plea to the union leaders and their members is the way to resolve this dispute is through talks rather than strike action and an overtime ban and I urge them to get back round the table.”

The Labour candidate, Daniel Chapman, is yet to respond to a request for comment.


The full list of candidates standing in the Lewes constituency, which covers Polegate, in alphabetical order are:

Blundell, Kelly-Marie (Liberal Democrat)
Caulfield, Maria (Conservative)
Chapman, Daniel (Labour)

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