LETTER: Rail changes

During the first stage of consultation on GTR’s 2018 rail timetable proposals, Seaford residents were given two choices:

1) keep the Seaford/Brighton half hourly services but lose the direct Seaford/London Victoria service; or

2) keep the direct Seaford/London Victoria service, but lose one of the two Seaford/Brighton trains in the hour in which the direct London service operates.

I queried the necessity for this and was invited to meet with GTR’s Head of Strategic Planning, Phil Hutchinson. At the end of this meeting Phil Hutchinson volunteered the assurance that the choice would be made on the basis of the responses received. It appears that this assurance was of little value.

GTR have now published both the results of the phase 1 consultation and the resulting proposed timetable.

In their analysis of the phase 1 consultation, GTR make the following points:

1) Of all of the stations covered (Great Northern, Gatwick Express, Southern and Thameslink), Seaford came third in the number of responses;

2) 60% of Seaford respondents supported the retention of the direct Seaford/London services;

3) The analysis includes the proposition that: “Train services between Brighton and Seaford will continue to provide a consistent half hourly train service throughout the day.”

4) Rejection of the proposition to cease the direct Seaford/London services.

Although it is not showing on journey checker GTR have now confirmed that Seaford to London Victoria will have one direct service in the morning 0650 arriving 0825 and one direct in the evening 1745 arriving 1917.

In terms of the Seaford/Brighton service, GTR claim that they continue to operate a 2 per hour service throughout the day. This claim is, however, hard to justify.

In the morning Seaford to Brighton service there is a 58 minute gap between 06;25 and 07:23 trains (a bit of a stretch to call this 2 per hour). In the evening Brighton to Seaford service there is a 60 minute gap in the between the 18:11 and 19:11 trains.

I think that residents served by the Seaford Brighton line should ask GTR to look again at the 2018 timetable. GTR are asking for feedback on the timetable to be emailed to them at gtr.timetableconsultation@gtrailway.com.

GTR should be ashamed that they are now proposing a more draconian reduction in Seaford services than that suggested in the original consultation.

David H Clarke

Firle Road, Seaford