Mid Sussex MP raises ‘unacceptable unreliability’ of train services with minister

Sir Nicholas Soames chaired a meeting of MPs with rail minister Claire Perry which Arundel and South Downs MP Nick Herbert attended (photo submitted). SUS-150527-112133001
Sir Nicholas Soames chaired a meeting of MPs with rail minister Claire Perry which Arundel and South Downs MP Nick Herbert attended (photo submitted). SUS-150527-112133001

Mid Sussex MP Sir Nicholas Soames raised the ‘unacceptable unreliability’ of train services with the rail minister this week.

He chaired a meeting of ten MPs on Tuesday to discuss recent disruption to services in Sussex with Claire Perry, the minister at the Department for Transport who is responsible for the railways.

Rail users have been hit with severe delays twice in the last month. Problems with engineering work at Clapham Junction on April 30 led to an entire day of delays and widespread cancellations across Sussex, while emergency engineering works had to be carried out at Haywards Heath on May 20, which resulted in another day of misery for passengers.

Sir Nicholas said the ‘unacceptable unreliability’ of the service was discussed, as was the continuing problem of staff not turning up for their shifts, overcrowding, and the need to refine and make the system of compensation more effective.

The new timetable was also discussed and all present agreed that it had further inconvenienced local people and had led to ever greater overcrowding.

He added: “The minister was in agreement with the thrust of the complaints made and is determined to get a much better performance from not only Southern Railway, but also more importantly from Network Rail, whose responsibility it is to deliver the lines and all the associated equipment.

“I look forward to making a further report in two to three weeks when we will have a clear idea of how the minister intends to proceed.”

What do you think of the train services in your area? Comment below or email the newsdesk.

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