I WOULD like to comment on the discussion about requests and proposals for a faster train to London. Let’s be realistic, it’s not going to happen.
The service from Eastbourne to London Victoria is an absolute disgrace with the continuous disruption on an almost daily basis, what with signal failures, train or power supply breakdowns and the adjoining and splitting of trains at Haywards Heath which can take around 10 minutes.
Very often the train is late as a result of waiting for the other portion, which can lead to missing of connections at other stations, especially the Gatwick Airport service to Dorking Guildford and Reading.
The trains cannot cope so it would be better to revert to an hourly service for both the line from Eastbourne to London and also up from the West Coastway line.
It is currently balanced unfairly with the number of coaches - from one there are four, the other eight.
I also note how much smoother the journey is on Sundays with only one train an hour and no splitting or joining (provided there is no engineering work of course) and with a 12-coach unit from both Hastings/Eastbourne and Littlehampton it would be much better for passengers.
I cannot understand why Southern cannot solve the problem of overcrowding.
I often go to London but have got so fed up with the journey from Polegate to Victoria I now go by bus to Tunbridge Wells (free with my bus pass) and then get on the train to Charing Cross (it’s a lot cheaper and nearer to Oxford Street).
There are no time restrictions coming back either on the cheapest tickets, no overcrowding and no joining and splitting of trains.
If South Eastern can do it, why not Southern (and four trains an hour).
I would like to point out a few problems with alternate route suggestions.
A direct line from Pevensey to Polegate (avoiding Eastbourne) is going to be difficult with the house building along the old track which I remember being in operation, and there is new development starting shortly.
The Hastings to Ashford line has single line track right from Ore to Rye and earlier trains having to wait for each other at Rye.
This track should be doubled and electrified and not run by clapped out trains that should have gone to a museum. This line is like something out of The Railway Children.
I hope that when the franchise runs out Southern will not get it renewed.
Let’s have one company to run all South East Services and more cooperation with services on other routes.
Mr M DYER