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Update on rail services to and from campus

Ongoing rail transport problems have made travel difficult for staff and students for several months, and industrial action by Southern railway drivers and conductors is set to affect travel to and from campus in January.

Senior managers have been speaking to MPs, local politicians and the local authority about this issue, seeking improvements to services and asking what support can be provided to the University community while the problems persist.

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.

Industrial action on Southern rail

Southern and Gatwick Express services are affected by overtime bans, as well as by strike action on Tuesday 24, Wednesday 25 and Friday 27 January.

Southern say: “Passengers are advised to expect a severely reduced and disrupted service on every day while this industrial action is in place.”

Southern warn that the situation “can change rapidly” and advise passengers to check their web pages for the latest information before travelling.

Compensation for Southern season ticket holders

Due to the poor levels of performance in 2016, Southern passengers with season tickets will receive a one-off compensation payment.

Under the scheme, which will go live in early January, annual season ticket holders will receive a payment equivalent to one month's travel.

Quarterly, monthly and weekly season ticket holders who have bought travel for at least 12 weeks between 24 April 2016 and 31 December 2016 will be able to claim an equivalent payment for the ticket type.

Where it has details, Southern will contact the majority of eligible customers directly and a website is being set-up to enable passengers to apply online if they believe they are eligible and are not automatically contacted by Southern.

Southern say that further details about this scheme will be provided in January.

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.

Rail fares increase 

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).

Railway infrastructure

In November 2016, Vice-Chancellor Adam Tickell put his name to a letter to the Transport Secretary that acknowledges issues with the rail service and talks about the importance of the Brighton mainline for our regional economy.

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Posted on behalf of: Transport
Last updated: Monday, 16 January 2017

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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.

From Simon Waddell on 9 December 2016
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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. 

From Robert Smith on 12 December 2016
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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!

https://www.cyclescheme.co.uk/

From Charlotte Rae on 12 December 2016
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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.

From Joanna Richardson on 9 January 2017
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