Southern rail strike: MP ‘disappointed’ at no replacement buses

Huw Merriman
Huw Merriman

Bexhill and Battle MP said he was ‘disappointed’ with Southern Rail for not putting on a replacement bus service during the five-day train strike.

Huw Merriman is posting a video diary of his journey from Bexhill to Brighton this morning (Monday, August 8).

With no trains running between Eastbourne and Ashford due to the strike, the MP was forced to get the normal bus to Eastbourne.

“Just been into the station and asked if there are any replacement bus services and the answer is no so we have to use the usual Stagecoach bus to Eastbourne,” he said.

“So with the stretch of the line from Bexhill to Hastings and Bexhill to Eastbourne, we have no train service and no replacement bus service.

“So we’re in the worst stretch possible for this constituency, which is not a great start and a bit disappointed Southern Rail couldn’t find some buses to put on as a replacement service.”

Mr Merriman has now managed to get to Brighton having left Bexhill at around 9am, missing a meeting in Lewes at 9.30am.

A Southern spokesman said: “We are very sorry that there is further disruption to services as a result of the RMT conductor strike action this week, which means our service is limited on many routes.

“Where we are not able to provide a train service we have worked with other train and bus operators and on our east coastway area, Southeastern is accepting our tickets on reasonable routes, and local buses have sought to provide additional capacity where possible on routes close to the train line.”

The RMT union called a five-day strike over the proposed changes to conductors’ roles, meaning drivers would operate the doors, which the union believes is unsafe.

Southern has promised to run 60 per cent of its normal timetable but all of its trains from Eastbourne to Ashford are cancelled, meaning commuters from Cooden Beach, Collington, Bexhill, St Leonards, Hastings, Ore, Three Oaks and Rye are left to rely on alternative transport.

Are you affected by the strike? Or are you striking? Get in touch by calling 01424 856785, emailing, tweet @HastingsObs, @BexhillObs, @RyeObs or @BattleObs, or Whatsapp photos to 07803 505879.

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