More carriages for Southern to ease overcrowding for commuters

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OVERCROWDING will be tackled by Southern with 130 new carriages after £80m of government support was announced in the Autumn Statement.

Lewes MP Norman Baker heralded it as a “good news Statement for transport” and added it was something he had been pressing for.

The Autumn Statement included over £1.4bn of investment in railway infrastructure and commuter links.

The new carriages will be used to reduce overcrowding on the busy London to Sussex coast routes, as well as the wider Southern network.

It will come as welcome relief for local rail passengers who have had to put up with overcrowded carriages for too long, according to the MP.

The Statement also came with the additional benefit for local commuters of seeing the planned rise of the retail price index plus three per cent being scrapped, in addition to wider investment in the rail network, such as supporting Network Rail to deliver £390m of enhancement and renewal works to improve stations and rail infrastructure, and improve winter resilience.

Mr Baker said: “The provision of 130 new carriages is really good news for all those who use Southern’s services, such as my constituents in Lewes, Seaford, Newhaven and Polegate.

“Coming on top of the two per cent reduction in planned rail fares, which I fought hard for, this is bumper good news for local rail travellers.”

Mr Baker announced a new allocation of £20m to help bus companies and local authorities buy low carbon buses when he gave the keynotes speech this week at the UK Bus Awards.

He added: “Uptake of public transport use is crucial to creating a greener environment, but we need to make public transport greener as well.

“This fund will get older, more polluting buses off the roads and replace them with greener, more efficient models, providing an even greater environmental case for using them.”