After months of disruption and delays, Southern Rail has announced that they have created an amended timetable which contains 341 fewer daily services. Sussex Chamber of Commerce has addressed this issue and the effects it will have on local businesses.
The key issue facing many commuters during this time is the impact that the amended timetable with have on businesses and their employees; the reduced timetable now means that trains will be far busier, making it harder to catch the service.
Although Southern Rail state that the new timetable is supposed to guarantee that all of the trains will definitely run and there will be no further delays, this has not been the case so far with several services delayed and disrupted.
The unpredictable train services are making it harder for businesses to keep up with their day-to-day running as employees are struggling to get to work on time and once they finally do arrive they are tired, stressed and fed up, which may have an impact on morale and productivity.
There have even been recent reports of people’s jobs being jeopardised due to the constant delays and cancellations causing higher than average lateness and absences. One commuter travelling to Sussex from Coulsdon South claims that he lost his job after a period of continued lateness due to the disruption of the train services.
Ana Christie from Sussex Chamber of Commerce said:
“Southern Rail has brought a huge amount of disruption to the South, through the cancellation of hundreds of services and delays on a regular and daily basis. Some stations have been left with one or two services per day compared to several services on an hourly basis, which is absolutely appalling. I have had to travel to London on a few occasions recently and last week services were still delayed and still disrupted despite the new adjusted service. The train journey also took twice as long to get to London. ”
She continues; “The recent disruption has had a huge impact on the economy, as productivity levels have been affected as employees are delayed travelling to work or to meetings. It is incredibly frustrating for everyone and a complete shambles.”
Although Southern Rail has said that the timetable amendment is temporary, they haven’t given a date as to when the timetable will return to normal service.