Latest student news
Update on rail services to and from campus
Ongoing rail transport problems have made travel difficult for staff and students for many months, and industrial action by Southern railway drivers and conductors has affected travel to and from campus in 2016 and 2017.
Industrial action on Southern rail
, which mostly represents conductors, is scheduled for Wednesday 22 February.
Southern say: "Many services will operate to the normal timetable." The Brighton-Lewes route, which includes Falmer station, will operate as normal, but there will be an "altered service" between Brighton and Portsmouth, as well on trains running to and from London.
Separately, drivers represented by the trade union ASLEF have rejected an agreement with Southern that would have ended their long-running industrial dispute. Under the proposed agreement, Southern would have been able to run trains without a guard or onboard supervisor under certain circumstances.
Senior managers have been speaking to MPs, local politicians and the local authority about the problems, seeking improvements to services and asking what support can be provided to the University community while industrial action continues.
In November 2016, Vice-Chancellor Adam Tickell put his name to a letter to the Transport Secretary that acknowledged wider issues with the rail service and talked about the importance of the Brighton mainline for our regional economy.
In the coming months, the University will continue working with external organisations and will look for opportunities to make the case for a better rail service for students and staff.
Compensation for train delays
Passengers on Thameslink, Southern and Gatwick Express are now able to claim compensation for train delays over 15 minutes, rather than 30 minutes.
Under 'Delay Repay 15', passengers can claim 25% of the cost of the single fare for delays between 15 and 29 minutes.
Fares on Southern and Gatwick Express trains rose by an average of 1.8% from 2 January 2017, “in line with the annual increases of other train operators” (including Thameslink).
Free Universities train shuttling between Brighton and Lewis please. Enable staff to actually get to work in the morning, encourage students to travel by train removing cost barriers to living outside Brighton, help parking problem on campus, make Sussex the greenest campus in the UK, lease to football club on match days, make National headlines for all the right reasons, and put a small nail in Southern Trains coffin. Everyone wins.
I have lived in Germany and Switzerland, working at the University of Bonn, the Max-Planck institute in Munch and the University of Zurich. In all cases the University was able to negotiate a deal for both staff and students -- as a major employer in the area -- reduced rate season tickets for its employees. I think the University should try to negotiate a better deal for its staff. If the university takes seriously global warming, then it should make every effort to enable its staff not to have to relly on using a car to get to work. Sitting in queues of traffic for long periods of time. If the trains were affordable and reliable, then it would significantly help lower pollution levels in the local area. I think the Uni-zone tickets should be extended to all staff at the Uniersity. This, would also make good business sense for Southern as it would inrcrease its number of customers over the long run and would be providing a vital public service. This kind of negotiation if sucessful would be effectively like a significant pay rise in real terms for most staff.
Another option would be the introduction of an off-peak season ticket, which is very common across europe.
The university also needs to sign up to the Cycle Scheme to buy a bike for commuting to work tax-free: many other large employers and universities have been part of this scheme for years and Sussex is behind the times. There are plans to introduce it - please bring these forward asap to support and facilitate staff cycling to work!
I would suggest setting up a car pool forum online for people travelling from Brighton, Lewes and Haywards Heath to help people make alternative arrangements on driver strike days when there are no Southern trains at all. Also lobbying the government to take the franchise off Govia Thameslink/Southern.
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