LETTER: '˜Embarrassing incompetence'
On Wednesday, February 28, I was trying to get up to London from Shoreham to see my grand niece in her last performance of Matilda in the West End.
The sky was blue, the sun was shining and though it was very cold, it was not snowing. The 10.17 from Littlehampton was running 15 minutes late and so it whistled straight through the station without stopping and with no warning, leaving us all incredulous and frustrated on the platform in the cold.
The 10.42 was also running late but it was only coming from Worthing and it did actually stop at Shoreham as scheduled. The guard informed me that the problems were nothing to do with the weather but due to a broken train.
Comfort was short-lived because at East Croydon it was decided that as we were running late, the train would terminate! So we were all turfed out into the cold to await the following train to Victoria. I arrived an hour late. The return journey is another story.
At the meeting with the rail companies which Tim Loughton MP chaired in Shoreham a couple of years ago, one of the biggest and loudest complaints from the audience was about the indiscriminate station skipping and train terminations, particularly from parents of young vulnerable school children dumped unceremoniously at unfamiliar stations with absolutely no thought for their safety.
Southern and Govia are clearly as cynically indifferent as ever to the welfare of their ‘customers’ whom they hold in contempt and consider an inconvenience.
They are obviously more concerned about not incurring penalties than delivering the service which passengers have paid for and to which they are entitled.
It is also an embarrassing incompetence for foreign visitors to witness, who must think they have arrived in a third-world country.
Frank Jones, Saltings Way, Upper Beeding
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