Small change, big difference

AT 14 minutes past each hour throughout the day, a train arrives at Seaford station. It leaves 11 minutes later, at 25 minutes past, and reaches Lewes at 44 minutes past.

The Ashford train leaves Lewes at 44 mintues past, and it is only when the Seaford train is early or the Ashford train is late that an agile passenger can cross the bridge quickly enough to make the connection.

The Seaford train arrives at Brighton on the hour, while the Portsmouth train leaves two minutes later, and only the fastest passenger can run from platform eight to platform two in the available time.

Trains from Eastbourne reach Lewes at 29 minutes past the hour, and the train to Seaford leaves at 28 past, so that connection is not possible.

Some railway lines, such as Brighton to London, are highly congested and a small change to one train time could have a big knock-on effect on others, but there appear to be no such issues between Brighton and Seaford which would prevent small changes in timing to improve the connections – it would only require a change of three minutes on each journey.

I have written to Southern rail several times over the years suggesting this, and although they once sent me a lavishly produced publication about track utilisation, they have never improved the timings or given any explanation of why they could not do so.

David Hitchin

Wilkinson Way