The nearest thing Southern have come up with this week as a “good-news story” is that, from next Monday, October 31, the Rye shuttle will be returned to service (as a train rather than a bus). So this marks the end of the “temporarily amended timetable” that was put into effect on July 11 when the shuttle train service was replaced by a bus service because Southern had insufficient drivers or conductors to operate all their scheduled services.
But that doesn’t mark the end of replacement buses, with strikes continuing unabated. Hoping not to confuse, on strike days replacement buses will substitute for the train. The bus service seems inconsistent, sometimes with one bus operating and at other times two buses. The second bus, in our view, is intended to be a direct Ashford to Rye service, so if you are offered two buses travelling in convoy to all intervening stations, do query it with the driver and the station staff.
Otherwise, the torment for passengers continues. It may be useful to restate the strike days planned for the rest of this year:
– November 4 and 5
– November 22 and 23
– December 6, 7 and 8
Unfortunately, there seems to be little prospect of a resolution to the strike without Government intervention.