Rail boss reassures passengers it’s safe to travel on Southern

A senior figure for Brighton and Hove’s rail operator has said his company is doing all it can to keep its trains virus-free.

Friday, 17th September 2021, 2:21 pm
Chris Fowler Customer Services Director, Southern Rail SUS-210915-111543001

A senior figure for Brighton and Hove’s rail operator has said his company is doing all it can to keep its trains virus-free.

Southern has also outlined some improvements it has made to stations and services in the Brighton area.

Chris Fowler, customer services director at Southern Rail, said: “Our key objective throughout Covid has been to reassure passengers that it is indeed safe to travel, if necessary.

“We’ve brought this into practice in several ways, which has been developed in collaboration with our passenger panel that extends across the UK.

“From a huge increase in the frequency of our communication with customers – that saw extra staff and our team of rail enforcement officers help to uphold Covid guidelines – to the deployment of our long-lasting viruscide that kills any virus infection on surfaces for up to 30 days and additional turnaround cleaning at each terminus, we’ve learnt quickly how we can best support our passengers and improve their experience.”

He said the rail company had also changed its bicycle policy to allow passengers to bring them on board during peak times to support people who were using their services to get to work.

A spokesperson for Southern said they have recruited young people into rail through the Government’s Kickstart Scheme. With two people working in customer experience based at Brighton station, and another two to join later this month and early October, and an additional two people from Kickstart who will join the tourism and events team, also based in Brighton. Local stations have also seen improvements, including new information screens and improved seating at Hove and Portslade, and a new waiting shelter at Portslade, and new planters and a ticket machine canopy at Preston Park.