Nine months of rail line work ‘will have big impact on passengers’

The digital awareness campaign features a seagull in a hard hat
The digital awareness campaign features a seagull in a hard hat

A Sussex passenger awareness campaign has been stepped up ahead of the nine-month Brighton Main Line Improvement Project.

From September through to May next year there will be line closures between Three Bridges and Brighton, and Three Bridges and Lewes.

Passengers travelling on the Brighton Main Line are being urged to check if their journey will be affected by the major programme of improvement works designed to reduce delays and provide better journeys for travellers between the south coast and the capital.

The public awareness campaign has been launched by Network Rail, which will be carrying out the improvements, and train operator Govia Thameslink Railway (including Southern, Thameslink and Gatwick Express), to raise awareness of the dates when the lines will be closed.

Starting today (Monday, August 13) ‘drop-by’ sessions will be held at 34 stations across East and West Sussex advising passengers about their journey options during the line closures. A digital awareness campaign featuring a familiar Brighton seagull will see information appearing in passengers’ social media newsfeeds, while a dedicated website – www.BrightonMainLine.co.uk – will enable passengers to find out how the closures affect their journeys.

Other traditional advertising methods are also being used to make sure that the widest possible audience is reached.

The railway will be closed for a total of 34 days to enable Network Rail engineers to carry out the first major overhaul of the southern end of the Brighton Main Line in more than 30 years.

Most of these closures take place during weekends to minimise overall disruption to passengers, with the exception of an extended nine-day closure in February 2019, which includes the school half-term when passenger numbers are lower.

This will enable engineers to complete the work without the need for significant further weekend closures and means passengers will benefit sooner from a more reliable railway.

Mark Killick, Network Rail’s Chief Operating Officer for the South East route, said: “Passengers on the Brighton Main Line deserve a better, more reliable railway and our work over the next nine months will deliver that. We know that closing the railway to carry out improvement work has a big impact on passengers’ lives, which is why we’ve worked hard to plan the work in a way that minimises overall disruption as much as possible.

“We’re working closely with Govia Thameslink Railway, Transport Focus and passenger groups to make sure the travelling public get the best possible service during our improvement programme. We’ll be out and about at stations across Sussex in the weeks and months ahead to talk directly to passengers and make sure everyone knows how to plan ahead.”

Drop-by sessions at local stations - mornings 6-9am, afternoons 4.30-7.30pm - include Plumpton (August 16), Lewes (August 30), Polegate (August 21), Newhaven Town and Seaford (TBC), Falmer (Agust 31), and Pevensey and Westham (September 3).