Network Rail is developing proposals to remove the railway bottleneck at Croydon to deliver improved service for the 300,000 passengers who travel to London on the Brighton Main Line. The plans would see the railway remodelled with new flyovers replacing junctions, and East Croydon station rebuilt with two extra platforms and better facilities for passengers. For a copy of the Network Rail Press Release click here
Today I was interviewed by BBC Radio Sussex where I commented on the rail timetable changes. I said that GTR had not paid attention to the detail of which services would be affected in the Lewes area in their efforts to produce more trains on the Brighton mainline. Stations like Plumpton, Lewes and Berwick are suffering with less train services than before. You can listen to my broadcast by clicking below:
The new Southern Rail timetable which comes into force on 20 May sees extra trains, new carriages, new connections and other welcome improvements to train services for commuters. The good news seems to be spread right across the country – except in Lewes, which loses out under the new timetable.
Vic Ient, Lib Dem District Councillor and transport spokesperson said: “It seems the rail network is to see big improvements all over the place except for rail travellers in the Lewes constituency. Here, far from improvements, we are going backwards.
“The shortened journey times from Lewes to London, down to 61 minutes in the off-peak, which Norman Baker secured, have been reversed, with journeys now lengthened to 70 minutes. And the Ashford service, which Southern have long wanted to cut but which Norman fought successfully to keep, has been chopped, now he is no longer there to stop them.
Sarah Osborne, Lib Dem Group Leader on the District Council said:
“It is clear that the Tories, including our Councillors and MP Maria Caulfield have been asleep on the job. While in other areas, local representatives have been successfully fighting for their patch, here they have let this series of cuts go through. This is another sign of how the Conservatives are not listening to the needs of the people of Lewes.”
From 20 May the town suffers the following:
* The ending of through services to Ashford International
* The halving of trains to and from London Bridge
* Lengthened journey times
* Connections between Glynde and Berwick severely cut
* Reduced weekday services to other neighbouring villages including Plumpton
* No end to the splitting of trains at Haywards Heath, although splitting has been much reduced elsewhere
On the 23 Feb 2016 the Bus Minister Andrew Jones quietly announced there will be a Buses Bill in 2016. At the moment it seems to be aimed at big cities and not rural counties & villages though the proposal talks about new partnerships and franchising for the whole of the UK. The Campaign for National Parks want to ensure that the Bill and any changes introduced as a result provide improved access to, from and around National Parks.
It would help strengthen their arguments if they could include some real examples of how buses, or the lack of them, have affected people’s journeys to and from National Parks, so please contact them directly. Email Ruth on firstname.lastname@example.org or ring on 020 7981 0890
The 132 bus (Sundays only) is now diverted to run along the C7 instead of the A26!
In September we had some disappointing news in that the National Park subsidies for the Compass Bus 123 Sunday service ran out and the service ceased. Now, we have a little bit of good news – the CTLA 132 service has been rescheduled to run up the Ouse valley! It is only one service in each direction but it’s better than nothing! CTLA primarily operates the service for the Lewes Town area but also serves the lower Ouse villages.
The service leaves Lower Place, Newhaven in the centre of Newhaven Town at 9:42 AM (arriving Lewes at 10:10 AM). Its return trip leaves Lewes bus station at 14:10 PM (arriving Newhaven at 14:37 PM).
The service in both directions stops at Kingston (Kingston School) Rodmell and Piddinghoe (C7 Main Road bus stop). I understand that concessionary fares are available.
A story of good news (well a small amount!) and bad news. The bad news is that the 130 bus service, which runs once-a-day from Rodmell to Brighton, will be withdrawn unless subsidies can be found. The good news is that there is to be a small, but useful improvement made to the 123 bus service which runs between Lewes and Newhaven.
This month, in August, I met with the Managing Director, Chris Chatfield, and the Transport Manager, Barry King, of Compass Travel. I am pleased to advise you that the services, in both directions which run just after 9 o’clock, will now take concessionary fares. Great news! This new arrangement together with some other minor modifications will come into operation from about 11 September. New timetables will be available shortly. NB: The new printed timetable omits to note that concessionary fares are available after 9am but I have had an assurance from the MD of Compass Travel that this was a printing error and will be corrected. The web version will be amended asap.
I was pleased hear that the two hourly bus service is now currently operating on a commercial basis with only very minor aspects of financial support from ESCC. Basically this means we don’t have to fear further government and council cuts to the 123 service.
Subject to the agreement of the parishes I have agreed to act as liaison between Compass Travel and the parishes. Hopefully this means we will be able to coordinate ideas and issues amongst ourselves leading to productive meetings with the bus company. However this doesn’t mean that members of the public and parish representatives shouldn’t raise individual problems with the bus company directly. Please continue to do that.
ESCC are proposing to end subsidised transport to those age 16+ from low income families to access Further Education or training.This is a cruel and idiotic cut that will have far reaching affects for those children who may now have to drop out of FE and yet saves very little money for ESCC. This will especially hit those who live in rural areas.
More details here and a link to questionnaire, please respond to ESCC consultation: