Strike action, which has seen all trains between Eastbourne and Hastings stopped, has been condemned by the Rail Minister.
Commenting on the five day walkout by Southern conductors with the RMT Union over the introduction of driver-only trains, Paul Maynard said, “This strike action from the RMT will do nothing other than cause yet more disruption and daily misery for passengers. It is deeply disappointing that the union bosses continue to overlook the impact they are having on the travelling public, and I strongly condemn this action. There have been many issues with Southern Rail in recent months – but a strike like this helps no one.”
Southern say that 88.5% of their strike timetable ran to time today in figures they manually compiled as they were unable to rely on industry data which, was showing inaccurate Public Performance Data due to a data systems error.
Southern’s Passenger Services Director, Alex Foulds said, “We would like to thank our passengers for the patience and understanding they are showing during this unnecessary strike, and we apologise to them for the disruption they are experiencing today. However, the good news is that the timetable we are operating is 60% of our normal service and these are running well.
“The RMT is causing yet more misery for our passengers, and we call on them to let this strike be the last.”
Eastbourne Buzz received reports this evening that staff at Eastbourne Railway Station were being abused by upset passengers, owing to cancellations on the trains. Southern say they have one anecdotal report of a staff member being verbally challenged over a ticketing issue, but would like to hear about any other reports for them to investigate.
A spokesperson said, "Customers are rightly angry, but it is totally unacceptable for anyone to abuse railway station staff, who are doing their best under what are difficult circumstances for everyone."
Eastbourne Buzz also asked for public opinion over the strike and received mostly positive support for the RMT Union: