Lewes MP Norman Baker has successfully fought for a cut in rail journey times between Lewes/Polegate and London.
Efforts made by Lewes Lib Dem MP Norman Baker to cut journey times to Lewes and Polegate have paid off with the announcement today that the new franchise will see a shortened journey time, as well as improved reliability.
This change was a key ask made by Norman Baker when he was a transport minister, and was then picked up by others, including Eastbourne’s MP Stephen Lloyd.
Norman says: “I am delighted that my intervention has borne fruit and that journey times to my constituency from London are to be shortened, though I believe it should have been possible to shave ten minutes off rather than five. Nevertheless, this important timetable change, which takes effect from next year, will be welcomed by my constituents.”
Norman is now seeking an early meeting with the successful bidders Govia (the parent company of the present operator Southern) to press for further improvements:
- An extra late night train from London Victoria to Eastbourne at 23.17. There is presently a long gap between the 22.47 and the 00.05
- Rationalisation of the first class accommodation to reduce the number of such areas but improve the quality of what is left
- Support in preparing for the reopening of the Lewes-Uckfield line and the creation of a new Willingdon chord, allowing some services to bypass Eastbourne
- More daytime off-peak services for Cooksbridge station
- The addition of an extra four carriages to what are presently 4 or 8 car trains