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PERRY'S PLEA ON RAIL STRIKE

8 August 2016

Albion's executive director has written to the city's three MPs.


Brighton & Hove Albion director Martin Perry has written the following open letter to Brighton & Hove MPs Peter Kyle, Caroline Lucas and Simon Kirby, concerning the upcoming five-day rail strike.  

Industrial action is set to begin this Monday, with no trains available for either of Albion's home fixtures this week, against Colchester United and Nottingham Forest.
 
The club estimates the cost of the impact of the strike at around £300,000 in terms of lost revenue and additional costs; with sales for both matches slow, despite the club's best efforts on contingency plans.

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Dear Peter, Caroline and Simon,
 
I know that you have all been lobbying on behalf of all customers concerning the Rail Strike at Southern Trains, but I thought you would like to see the predicted impact that it will have on Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club.
 
We have an EFL Cup match against Colchester United on Tuesday 9th August and a EFL Championship match against Nottingham Forest on Friday 12th August; both matches are directly affected by the proposed train strike and we have been advised there will be no trains.
 
However, we have now also been informed that with the temporary timetable being offered by Southern Trains means that Falmer Station will be closed after 5pm, and there will be no trains for our EFL Championship match against Rotherham on Tuesday 16th August.
 
On an average match, up to 12,000 supporters travel to and from the Amex by train.  The impact of the strike and the disruption to travel services and on ticket sales is huge – supporters are worried about whether they will be able to get to the Amex, and worse whether they will be able to get home, are not buying tickets; this also has an impact on our catering, merchandising and programme sales.

It also reduces the atmosphere in the stadium in one of the most challenging divisions in the football world.
 
We have calculated that the impact on us over the three games will be in the order of £300,000, made up of £250,000 in lost revenue and £50,000 in increased costs providing replacement buses additional park-and-ride sites and stewarding etc.
 
This is the impact on just our business over a period of one week.
 
What is the total impact across businesses over the south east of England not only over the period of the strike, but over the period that we have suffered a reduction in service levels and the disruption to train timetables?  It must run into millions of pounds lost to the local economy.
 
Can you please take this up at Central Government level? We have been hugely successful in encouraging our supporters to use sustainable means of transport including the train and the bus. But our success relies totally on us having a reliable, efficient, good quality train and bus service, otherwise agendas to encourage people away from the private car will completely fail.

The disruption and the cost to us and all businesses in the south east is totally unacceptable.
 
Martin Perry

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