Review into how Southern Rail performs in bad weather


Horsham District Council is conducting a review to look at how Southern Rail performs in severe weather.

The review aims to identify how severe weather has affected the rail service for the Horsham District and what action Horsham District Council could take in the future.

The review is being carried out by a new Working Group set up by the Scrutiny & Overview Committee at Horsham District Council and the Group met for the first time on 16 July 2012.  

Members of the Working Group are keen to hear from users of local railway stations in the Horsham district, such as Pulborough, Amberley, Horsham, Christ’s Hospital, Warnham, Littlehaven and Faygate.

Comments from users of the local railway stations can be sent to the scrutiny and overview committee by emailing

Alternatively, send written comments to scrutiny and committee support officer, Horsham District Council, Park North, North Street, RH12 1RL.

The suggestion for a review was raised by a former Horsham District councillor, who had concerns about three main issues.

These issues were the reliability of Southern Rail and Network Rail, the inability of Southern Rail to maintain its performance in times of severe weather and communication issues.

The aim of the new review is:

- to examine the problems which occur during icy or severe weather, which causes the trains to fail

- to consider what action Southern Rail and Network Rail have taken since last winter’s delays

- to consider what safeguards are in place to deal with the disruption, especially at peak times, when trains do fail as a result of the severe weather

- to identify Southern and Network Rail’s methods of communication to staff and passengers at times of disruption

- to examine to what extent any action by Horsham District Council is appropriate

Roy Cornell, chairman of the Southern Rail performance in severe weather working group said: “The Working Group has excellent terms of reference criteria which will enable it to investigate all types of severe weather that have affected the operation of rail services within our district.

“It is our intention to therefore ask rail users to meet the committee and explain their experiences while travelling with Southern Rail, and the effect it has had during severe weather conditions.

“The Committee will then ask management from Southern Rail and Network Rail to attend meetings at a later date.”

The working group confirmed that for the purposes of the review, severe weather included rain, ice, snow and hot weather.

The scrutiny and overview committee can question, call for information on and comment on any decisions of the Cabinet; review and monitor internal and external services; review issues of local concern and monitor and scrutinise outside bodies such as financial advisors and utility suppliers.

For more information, please call Horsham District Council on 01403 215138 or go to the Scrutiny pages on the Horsham District Council website