JEREMY CLACKSON, our transport correspondent, went full black-tie last night to attend a less-than-lavish gala awards
Three cheers for Chris Philp.
There’s recognition, at last, for the Conservative MP for Croydon South, for all his posturing and hot air over Southern Rail services, and achieving… nothing.
It being the awards season, the Association of British Commuters last night hijacked social media during the Rail Industry Awards annual back-slapping piss-up (mostly paid for out of the squillions that they make from the public) to name their own alternative “winners” involved in the daily disaster that is Southern Rail.
The opportunities for humour were ample. Someone suggested that at the swanky rail awards, “The waiters have been replaced with On Table Supervisors. They no longer open your bottles of wine.”
While the “Main course is cancelled. Running fast between Starter and Pudding”.
And during the evening, in among the most overcrowded service gong, Charles Horton’s lifetime achievement award and the prize for the most forgotten station, the winner of the alternative industry Oscar for “Most Useless MP in this Crisis” was announced as none other than … drum roll … Chris Philp, Croydon South’s entrepreneurial Tory MP.
Unfortunately, Chris Philp was not able to attend the awards to collect his prize, but he did send this message. It’s the same message Philp has been telling the long-suffering commuters of Coulsdon, Purley and South Croydon for almost two years. “If the Southern service is not improved immediately, I’ll scream and scream and scream until they lose their franchise.”
Meanwhile, away from the glitz and glamour of the awards, in the cold light of today’s wintry morning as hundreds of thousands of Southern commuters make their way to and from work, the Association of British Commuters is continuing its actions to ensure real improvements in the rail service, with a Judicial Review at the High Court to bring the transport secretary, Chris Grayling, to account.
The legal action is expensive and ABC are seeking support from all rail-users towards the costs.
- To put your name to a petition to “Sack Southern” and get commuter routes handed over to TfL, click here
- Southern Failways: The train driver’s story
- Southern Failways: The Tories’ role in Croydon’s commuter chaos
- Southern Failways: Civil servant wants ‘to break’ rail unions
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