Rail woes ‘could affect Seaford’s economy’

Seaford to Brighton train line, Newhaven from Bishopstone SUS-140105-084236001
Seaford to Brighton train line, Newhaven from Bishopstone SUS-140105-084236001

A temporary rail timetable could affect tourism and the economy in Seaford and surrounding towns.

That is the belief of pensioner Anne Marr, who has joined this newspaper’s call for operator Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) to be stripped of its franchise.

Anne Marr SUS-160713-084511001

Anne Marr SUS-160713-084511001

Mrs Marr, 71, of Hurdis Road, Seaford, uses the trains to get to Brighton and Lewes for shopping and to attend courses.

She said the revised timetable would effectively isolate people like her and restrict their ability to travel.

Replacement buses will be laid on to mitigate the impact of numerous cancelled trains along the line – but Mrs Marr believed the service would be slower and add to congestion on the roads.

“This will have a devastating effect on Seaford, Newhaven and the areas en route to Brighton,” she said.

“Not only will the nightmare of travel to work, school or college now be even worse - but also tourism and the economy of our towns will be affected.

“There will still be two commuter trains through to London in the early morning and one returning in the evening. Apart from that, most Seaford to Brighton trains have been cancelled.”

GTR and the RMT union have been locked in a bitter dispute over the introduction of Driver Only Operation trains, which would see a change in the role of conductors.

While GTR director Alex Foulds believes the balance of public sympathy lies with the operator, Mrs Marr backed the RMT.

She said: “We are being used as pawns in this game and it is not right to blame the unions.

“They have deeply let us down by letting it get to this point. There is a great deal of anger in the community about it.”

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