All change for rail franchise

Letters
Letters

From: David Peel

Church Street, Willingdon

Regarding the new train timetable changes:

When it comes to London bound trains, again we appear to be the poor relation to the Brighton line.

I regularly catch the London-bound train, which used to depart at 9.31am and arrive about 11am. Following the so called improvements, this train now departs at 9.24am and, surprise, surprise, arrives at about the same time. Sadly if you want to buy an open period off-peak return there is a considerable increase in cost because the train no longer departs after 9.30am. If you want this luxury then it’s the 10am, or taking pot luck as to whether you can get cheap tickets for two single journeys on specific trains.

The 9.31am now departs at 50 per cent capacity of the old train, four instead of eight coaches, and on the day I travelled was standing room only after Lewes.

I wrote and complained to Southern and to quote part of the reply: “With the improvements that are set to be fully completed in December 2020, there will be a slow progression. This may mean that we will need to reduce the number of services running in the beginning of this plan.”

This looks to me like jam tomorrow.

Sadly, I to have come to the conclusion that this franchise needs a new provider. Having been a daily commuter to London under nationalisation, I still need to be persuaded that renationalisation is the answer.