It has long been told that the quality and condition of the railway network of South East England, which includes the boroughs of Sutton and Croydon, is appalling.

The majority of people who take the train in order to reach their area of work travel to Central London. The Southern Rail is the primary and most popular method of arriving at their destination of work. With Sutton being only ­­­­­8 stops away from the hustle and bustle of Charing Cross in Central London, people have been attracted to the ease of accessibility and this has encouraged more people to settle in these areas. This makes the Southern Rail an asset to our economy that is a key reason it is growing contributing to over 21 new houses and 57 flats built by the London Borough of Sutton in August 2019. So, where does this hatred many local commuters hold stem from?


By 2018, Southern Rail had been voted the worst train service, in the country- for the third year in a row! Scoring only one out of a possible of five stars as part of a Which? survey conduced by 2865 commuters, it accentuated the train service’s history riddled with poor reliability, value for money and punctuality.  Most recently, the rail service announced that there would be no trains to and from Portsmouth or Southampton for 9 days following the cancellation of trains to and from Chichester only 2 days earlier. With recurring incidents of faulty equipment that constantly requires repairs that delay people, generally, for over a week, commuters are questioning funding.


The TFL- Transport for London- is responsible for ensuring that all trains are train services including the condition of stations, rails and trains are well managed to ensure customer satisfaction. On the contrary, figures suggest that only 39% of consumers are satisfied with rail services in the south East District. With rising ticket prices, commuters are frustrated that the overall quality of our train services. In response to this frustration, commuters have been met with train strikes and ‘walk outs,’ from staff members of Southern Rail. This spiralling feud has infuriated many who require the basic need of travelling to work. And people are beginning to wonder if this issue can ever be resolved. With parliament occupied with the fierce political debates of Brexit, basic needs are over-looked and they continue to worsen. Is there redemption for our local rail service? Can a distracted and divided parliament achieve it?

By Krishna Mahendrakar