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August 11 2016.

The Secretary of State for Transport has still not responded to a letter sent by Councillor Carolyn Lambert supporting residents in their call for action on the non-service that is Southern Rail. Carolyn says: “While I welcome the calling off of the Southern Rail strike and hope that sense will now prevail, this dispute is down to the government’s determination to push through driver-only trains. The nature of the Southern franchise means that it can front up this policy for the government without any financial penalty.

"I support my Seaford residents in calling for the immediate removal of the franchise and urge the government to take up the Mayor of London’s offer to run the service.

"I also support the RMT in wishing to have a second person on the train for the safety of passengers. Southern set up the franchise to run a service at only 80% staffing capacity, which will always mean reliance on overtime and makes a mockery of its current offer to the union.

"This government has already made cuts to welfare benefits with the aim of getting people back to work. How on earth can they do that without a proper transport service?

"Our local MP, Maria Caulfield's pre-election promise to sort out transport is in tatters, and she appears to be completely powerless to get her own government to act. They are without compassion and simply don’t care about the huge impact on the lives of ordinary people.

"I have now put in two Freedom of Information requests to try to sort out fact from fiction in this sorry story.”