Commuters form pressure group

UNHAPPY commuters are joining forces and have set up a pressure group.

More than 400 commuters have registered their disappointment at recent timetable changes which they say make their evening commute from London to Eastbourne longer.

Now they have formed the Southern Eastbourne and East Coastway Commuter Group supporting rail commuters from Bexhill, Eastbourne, Hastings, Lewes, Polegate, Seaford and intermediate stations who travel to East Croydon, Clapham Junction, London Bridge and London Victoria.

Before Christmas the commuters met with Southern Rail's Ian Rashbrook at Eastbourne Town Hall to discuss their concerns.

They are angry that peak services have been re-shuffled and there are not enough carriages and say Eastbourne commuters were never consulted over the timetable changes.

More than 60 commuters attended but ironically a number were late because they were delayed on the 18.33 service out of London Bridge.

The commuters were advised they would have to set up a formal group which they are now in the process of doing.

Belinda Fordham, who commutes from Eastbourne to London and has been at the forefront of the campaign for better services for Eastbourne commuters, said, "It is quite clear that we can only apply pressure, be recognised and consulted on the Rail Utilisation Study for this line which commences imminently if we formalise our group.

"With our numbers nearing 400, it is felt that we should be a separate group from the Brighton Commuter Line Group, and not charge a membership fee as we will run this voluntarily and electronically."

Details of the group are available at

In addition, Southern has agreed to monitor services and passenger numbers and says it may make minimal changes after four weeks.

The company is also awaiting reallocation of rolling stock in order to review the number of carriages available which may be added to the 17.22 out of London Bridge.