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“Please help me persuade Southern to ensure they provide platform information for passengers when things go wrong” – Brian Seaman


Brian Seaman

In these days of communication, it is odd that a railway franchise could forget their paid-up customers waiting on the platform with no indication that there were no trains running - until we (the customers) took the initiative and pressed the Help Point button.

We have tannoys and information panels and staff at Horley station - surely someone could have told us that there were no trains running - after we had waited for 45 minutes? Shame on you.

Problem History

  • 1 Brian Seaman reported the issue on FixMyTransport. close 16:40 01 Aug 2011
  • 2 Brian Seaman wrote to Southern close 16:40 01 Aug 2011

    Here is the letter that Brian Seaman wrote.

    Lack of announcements about today's rail problems

    It would be great if Southern could have informed customers waiting on the platform that there were no trains in either direction from Horley this morning because of flooding at South Croydon.

    There were no public announcements and nothing to give an indication of how problematic going in either direction (Gatwick or London) on the information boards - which were switched off. Staff made no announcements, and customers were still arriving and passing through the barriers without this information.

    The only way that as a group of passengers we found out what the problem was by pressing the help point button on the platform and getting through to a central control room.

    Shame on you for making us wait in the heat (25C +) with no trains or information.

  • 3 [email address] responded to Brian Seaman close 16:50 01 Aug 2011
    Thank you for your enquiry, we appreciate you taking the time to
    contact us.  We aim to respond in full to your enquiry within 5
    working days.

    You can also contact us by phone (08451 27 29 20), fax (08451 27
    29 30) or in writing (Southern Customer Services, PO Box 3021,
    Bristol, BS2 2BS).  You can also submit a webform at:

    Yours sincerely

    Southern Customer Services

    This email is generated automatically - Please do not reply to
    this mailbox


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  • 4 Tom Steinberg commented close 20:07 01 Aug 2011

    Hi Brian - thanks for using FixMyTransport to report your announcement problem.

    Why don't you add a couple of snaps of your station to your supporters page, and perhaps a portrait of yourself to make things look a bit more serious? Then we can start helping you get more people to join up.

  • 5 P J Cawkwell commented close 20:18 01 Aug 2011


    I did 2 years and 6 months at a small station single person staffed site in South Yorkshire and I can assure you that passengers, like yourself, don't really mind when things go wrong, however much it hassle it causes for them. What I did find was a lack of information was a major bug bear and customers soon realised if it didn't arrive within a couple of minutes I was either on my way to tell them why or on the phone to find out.

  • 6 Southern Rail Customer Services responded to Brian Seaman close 10:38 15 Aug 2011
    Dear Mr Seaman

    Thank you for contacting us on 1 August 2011 regarding the disruptions caused by the flood.

    I am sorry to hear about the way your journey was affected by the disruptions caused by the landslide. I appreciate your frustration concerning the lack of information at Horley Station. Sometimes, information is not circulated fast enough for it to be displayed and announced on time at our stations. This is because some alterations are made at very short notice.

    We try to pass accurate information on to our customers as soon as possible and I apologise that this was not the case on your journey on 1 August 2011. We aim to provide excellent service at all times and therefore we very much appreciate your feedback. I have recorded your comments in the hope that they will go a long way in helping us to make improvements.

    If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us directly at: [Southern problem reporting email] or You can also contact our Customer Service team by phone on (08451 27 29 20), fax (08451 27 29 30) or in writing (Southern Customer Services, PO Box 3021, Bristol, BS2 2BS).

    Kind regards

    Ade Faniyan
    Southern Customer Services

    This email is sent subject to our email disclaimer which can be accessed at:

    show quoted sections
  • 7 Brian Seaman added an update close 15:04 15 Aug 2011

    Dear Mr Faniyan,

    Thank you for your response.

    The staff at the station were still letting customers onto the platforms an hour after the problem at South Croydon.

    The customer information boards were switched on initially with train times being moved back, but eventually these were switched off.

    There was not one tannoy system announcement about the problem or any other message about delays and cancellations, whereas customers are usually deluged with announcements.

    The only way your passengers got the message about the problem at South Croydon was by using the help point on the platform, otherwise we would have been waiting even longer to find out that there were no trains calling at Horley (or other stations) for the rest of the morning.

    I am sure my fellow customers would be very understanding about delays and cancellations if they were told about them, but the lack of communication regarding the issue was totally lamentable given all of the options available to Southern Railway - none of which were used to convey the simple message - 'we are sorry but there will be no trains because of an incident at South Croydon'.

    Your sincerely,

    Brian Seaman

  • 8 Tom Steinberg commented close 12:59 01 Sep 2011

    Hi Brian,

    Did you ever get an apology, or any feedback from your second email? Or any sign that they won't do this again?

  • started 1 August 2011
  • supporters 7
Horley Rail Station in Horley operated by Southern
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