- December 14, 2017
Daily commuters are furious over the decision to cancel an early morning train service to London after a new train timetable for next year was revealed.
Southern Rail, part of Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), has decided to withdraw the 6.37am service from Brighton to London Bridge as part of a scheme to introduce more trains to the network.
Those who commute to the capital have complained that there is now no direct service leaving Brighton for London Bridge during the peak time of 6am – 7.32am.
The new timetable forces commuters to get the 7.32am service, meaning they will arrive in London an hour later.
As part of the modernisation programme Southern plans to bring in more class 700 fixed-length trains to the network. They say this is in an attempt to bring in extra capacity to the railway network in the South East.
From May 2018 Southern Rail intends to introduce more trains direct from Brighton to London Bridge.
Many commuters have questioned the logic. Some say the abrupt change to the timetable – which leaves them with no alternative, effectively institutionalises the chaos they faced during the strikes last autumn, throughout which the 6.37am train was routinely cancelled.
The indefinite cancellation of the popular service means customers must either join another service from Brighton to the capital and change en-route or get the later train with a strong likelihood of having to stand.
A spokesman for GTR saidL “As part of these (modernisation) changes we have had to withdraw one service.
“In the longer term this will allow us to introduce many more peak trains direct from Brighton to London Bridge in May.
“In fact, by December next year we will have tripled today’s number of services to this station and all these 15 trains will be full-length 12-carriage services.”
By Clare Calder