Ever since the start of the year, southern railway have displayed appalling customer satisfaction with problems ranging from; the operating of who closes the doors to trains being severely delayed, leaving passengers completely stranded in the cold weather. There have been over 2,242 cancelled scheduled services; which have affected a staggering 300,000 travelers. Victoria station has been faced with some of the worst disruptions in the recent past, with southern railway being the only option for some people, it seems they are going to be stranded in delays, until something is done. The cancelled services were due to a 24 hour walkout, which has happened the 3rd time this week, by an unnegotiated deal, between the drivers in union Aslef and the rail chiefs.
Social media has been stormed with hundreds of complaints; from the furious passengers, experiencing an awful service, with southern. Soraya Cotwal tweeted; ‘Left job I love yesterday because of rail dispute. Irony is a couldn't even get to my own leaving do! Thanks #Southernfail #Southernrail. The transport secretary; Chris Grayling, said he is toughing up anti strike laws, accusing the unions of ‘wanting to take the rail industry backwards’. The passengers who were left stranded in Victoria station, on thursday night, left a letter with Department For Transport, urging the government to immediately take action and tackle this nightmare. ‘We suffered a year-long nightmare because of the collapse of Southern Rail. ‘We have desperately called for government action and have been repeatedly ignored - even while many of us have lost our jobs , or had to move house’, which was said by a protest organiser spokesman, from the Association of British commuters.
National express have come to the rescue! Aiding passengers with 3,000 extra seats, helping
commuters who would normally travel from London to Brighton via Southern Rails. A Tory MP commented on the train service as ‘luddites’, driver only trains were certified by independent regulators, having run fine for 30 years. City analysts said that Southern had a deal with the government of a controversial £9 billion, for seven years. Taxpayers are the ones paying the compensation for passengers, stupidly, rather than the train operator Govia Thameslink Railway. Govia is owned by Go ahead , owning a majority of Southern, has urged investors to make careful consideration when buying shares, as the fall of sales has gone slightly below estimates. The extra costs of £3 billion, which is a fraction of the £50 million; suffered by taxpayers in costs compensation and lost ticket sales.
A serious problem with Southern Rails, involves the strikes outlined by the passengers. Recently, drivers joined train guards, to strike for three days this week. Some individuals and groups involved include: drivers, union Aslef, Rail Maritime and the transport union representing a high majority of the guards. A close MP with Aslef boss ‘Mick Whelan’, is Jeremy Corbyn, who claimed that driver only trains do present some safety issues. Mr Whelan was asked by Theresa May to cancel the strike, challenging Jeremy Corbyn.
Nevertheless, more needs to be done by Southern Rails, perhaps by rethinking their business plan, changing drivers, raising morale in the company and finding a way to regain their lose in customer satisfaction. Many rely on this service and changes need to be rapid and efficient.