Railway station bench removal branded ‘heavy-handed’

Cllr Stephen Catlin examines the explanation for the bench removal
Cllr Stephen Catlin examines the explanation for the bench removal

Southern Rail has removed a bench seat from the entrance at Lewes Railway Station due to what it describes as anti-social behaviour.

Donated in 2006 to mark the centenary of Rotary in Lewes, it has now been placed on Platform 3.

But Town and District Councillor Stephen Catlin has called the action “heavy-handed and unnecessary”.

He said: “British Transport Police should have dealt with the offenders. The amenity provided for the many has been removed by bad behaviour of the few and the area should have been better policed.

“On a similar matter, the police have suggested the removal of the public benches by the Castle Bowling Green and Castle Banks to deter anti-social behaviour and we simply cannot allow this.

“There are regulations in place forbidding street-drinking in Lewes and these need to be enforced.”

The original agreement for the provision of the bench was made in conjunction with Lewes Town Council, which had not been consulted about its removal, said Cllr Catlin.

It has been reported that anti-social behaviour by occupants of the bench has been directed at both passengers and rail staff.