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    (Original post by Rakas21)
    While i don't think the mental health point should be in there (seriously, are we to believe people are so over-sensitive that they have a nervous breakdown because they can't leave earlier to get the bus) i do agree with the point which is that reducing the number of services when demand clearly exists is intolerable,

    Subject to reading a summary of their actual franchise agreement i can say as the relevant secretary of state that i intend to have the franchise go to tender again if Southern Railways carry on with this course of action.
    Nationalisation will not be occurring though.
    (Original post by TheDefiniteArticle)
    Aye, although the reference to mental health is somewhat silly.
    (Original post by joecphillips)
    I don't currently know enough about the situation at the minute but why mention mental health? It just feels unnecessary
    I believe the mention of mental health is justified here simply because of the impact this problem is having on people's lives. It's understandable if some of you do not know very much about the saga and I wouldn't expect you to if you didn't live in the south. From the people I've spoken to and the local press coverage which has been taking place, I know that the recent dispute in particular has cost people their jobs and seriously affected people's relationships. This is why I believe it has affected the mental health of some people. But as barnetlad pointed out, Southern Rail's incompetence goes far beyond this dispute. They have been delivering a simply inadequate for a long time now and carrying on like it currently is would just be a bad mistake.
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    (Original post by Quamquam123)
    With the right legislation, theoretically any contract can be changed. I'm saying that the contract that Southern Rail currently hold should be seriously questioned due to the quite shocking service they have been offering to commuters.
    Assuming the DfT have drawn up a reasonably good contract, there will be grounds for termination in there. *Not running 15% of the weekday service ought to be one of them.
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    I have no legal qualifications, but it seems to me that clause 4.1 of the franchise agreement has been broken- that which says:*The Franchisee shall perform its obligations under this Agreement in accordance with its terms and with that degree of skill, diligence, prudence and foresight which would be exercised by a skilled and experienced Train Operator of the Franchise'. Any skilled transport operator could forecast staff numbers and make a reasonable allowance for sickness and holidays, which seems not to have been the case.
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    As others have said, the mental health point is silly - and furthers the myth that mental health issues are no more than just a load of stress from this sort of hardship rather than distinct medical issues, although I'm sure the author had good intentions. Aye none the less - this is the perfect example of why rail privatisation is a horrible idea. Southern know most of their commuters simply have no decent alternative, and this astonishingly bad service is the natural conclusion of a private monopoly.
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