Commuter hits out at rail ‘roulette’

Lorna Cobbett SUS-160504-132514001
Lorna Cobbett SUS-160504-132514001

A mum of triplets who faces regular train chaos while travelling to work in London from Horsham has hit out at rail workers.

“I have no empathy for them,” said Lorna Cobbett this week after strikes again disrupted travel on Southern Rail.

“What’s really demoralizing is that there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight and they seem to be fine about ruining people’s Christmas and New Year with families not being together as they should be.”

Lorna - mum to three babies, one of whom has a life-limiting condition after suffering brain damage at birth - described her regular journey to Victoria as ‘train roulette.’

“I have enough to plan in my life in looking after the triplets without having extra stress.”

Lorna, 37, needs to be able to get home to Horsham quickly in case of emergency “but I’m never in control of my journey,” she said.

“After two days of strikes last week I sat at my desk checking my phone to see what time I could get home. The trains were coming up ‘Cancelled,’ ‘Cancelled,’ ‘Cancelled’ - there was only one train to get me home to Horsham.

“And there were only four coaches. It was the most packed I have ever seen it.”

She said the whole travel nightmare had left her exhausted. “I feel for other parents too who, if they are half as tired as I am, cannot find quality time to be with their families at weekends. It’s so stressful.”

Lorna and husband Steve are parents to babies Essie, Roman and Eva who were born prematurely and little Essie suffered ‘catastrophic’ brain damage.

Lorna fought a successful campaign to get Essie NHS support and now also receives family support and respite care for Essie from Chestnut Tree House children’s hospice.

Lorna is trying to raise awareness of the hospice’s work and is taking part in a half marathon in Brighton in February, hoping to raise £6,850 - the cost of one day’s care at the hospice.