Two significant local issues have affected the lives of many residents over the past 12 months, namely: the worsening traffic situation along and around the A27; and the poor performance of Southern Rail or Southern Fail as it has become known with good reason, where, regardless of one’s political persuasion or not, voters may wish to challenge their own constituency member of the two local MPs on their record in lobbying government in support of the well documented enormous effects on the lives of many local people.
With the former, both have appeared content to ‘toe the party line’ that from the PM down has put all the blame on the unions whereas, the reality of the early days of the dispute, was that it soon emerged that a senior DfT official was on record as saying that this provided an opportunity to crush/destroy the unions!
A further reality is that, the way in which the Southern franchise was drawn up, has subsequently been acknowledged to be fundamentally flawed giving Southern no incentive to resolve the dispute and indeed that same DfT official was later hauled back before the ‘select committee’ and under strong questioning eventually had to admit that he had earlier misled them.
With regard to the latter, those who attended the 2016 A27 public consultation at the Pier Pavilion will recall that both MPs were reluctant to support the majority pressing for an ‘outer ring road’ and only later ‘changed tack’ when they belatedly recognised the strength of feeling against the minimal ‘on-line’ improvements outlined by Highways England.
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