No Sussex services restored in Southern timetable changes

A passenger demo at Brighton station SUS-160725-133908001
A passenger demo at Brighton station SUS-160725-133908001

None of the 119 services a day set to be restored to Southern train timetable are in Sussex.

Govia Thameslink Railway brought in a revised weekday timetable in early July, which cancelled more than 300 services a day in response to staff shortages.

The rail operator has been locked in a bitter dispute with the RMT union for months over plans to change the role of conductors, with both sides blaming each other for the inadequate level of train crew available.

The new timetable saw most train services cancelled between Lewes and Seaford, with buses operating instead.

Southern announced today that 119 train services will be reinstated on Monday (September 5), but these will be in Surrey and in and out of London.

Charles Horton, GTR’s chief executive, said: “We know how difficult life has been for our passengers recently and we are sincerely sorry. Our aim has been to bring back as much of the timetable as quickly as we could and for several weeks we’ve had 5th September as our target to begin the reinstatement of trains.

“We’re pleased that we can restore a large chunk of our train timetable for our passengers on this date but we will not be satisfied until the full timetable is running, and running in a punctual way people can rely on.

“But with another RMT strike called for next week, passengers will be dismayed and angry, as we are, that the union has called yet further cynically-orchestrated action to try and scupper this improved service, and cause maximum disruption, damage and delay in the very week when many people go back to work and back to school after the summer break.”

“But we will not be thwarted in our determination to give passengers their trains back. In the face of an intransigent RMT leadership, we’re doing all we can to get our passengers back on track.

“The updated timetable will allow us to run a more comprehensive rush hour service with virtually a full peak service at London Bridge and 95% of peak train capacity at Victoria. We will continue to add services incrementally and we are aiming at restoring the full timetable in the coming weeks.

“However, while we’ll do all we can to restore the services, we are faced with an unparalleled wave of strikes, unjustified industrial disputes and abnormal levels of train crew sickness. We are also part of a live railway network which can result, however much we don’t want them, in unexpected incidents which do cause short notice cancellations and disruption. This is the start of the journey to restore the full timetable. It will take time to complete, but passengers can be assured it is now underway.”

The restored rail services are available in online journey planners.

Southern says that information on services during the RMT strike action on Wednesday and Thursday, 7 and 8 September will be announced in due course.

Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.

Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.

1) Make our website your homepage

2) Like our Facebook page

3) Follow us on Twitter

4) Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.

And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!

Always the first with your local news.

Be part of it.