With Seaford rail services having been cut by 80% over the summer, residents in the town are understandably fed up with getting the short straw in dealings with Southern Rail. The reintroduction of services to Seaford were reinstated on Monday 26th September, but the celebration is marred by Southern Rail’s latest consultation which proposes to remove direct lines from Seaford to London.
Seaford is the largest town in the district of Lewes and has a significant commuter population, being a seaside location with easy access to London.
At peak times, there are trains that start in Seaford and go direct to London, as well as return direct from London, allowing residents to commute without changing, making their journeys easier and smoother.
However, in Southern Rail’s latest consultation, they propose removal of these trains, stated clearly on p 26 of the consultation document;
“The direct peak trains between London Victoria and Seaford are no longer provided. Passengers would be required to change trains at Lewes with a connection time of around nine minutes (in the evening) or five minutes (in the morning).”
We are incredibly grateful to the resident who contacted Cllr Carolyn Lambert to draw the matter to our attention.
Since this was discovered, we have been out in Seaford raising awareness of the consultation, and asking people to sign a petition to oppose the removal of trains that run direct to London.
Many people have expressed their concern, those who make a daily 90 minute journey to London in particular are concerned about the additional time changing at Lewes would add to their journey. Residents have also cited the issue of the impact on those with accessibility and mobility issues, as they would have to rely on staff help at Lewes to change trains, which at peak time would be chaotic for all involved.
Liberal Democrats from Seaford, Newhaven and Lewes will be out getting signatures every weekend to show Southern Rail the strength of support for the direct line. We are encouraging people to respond to the consultation as well.
You can sign the online petition here or locate it in shops in Seaford Town Centre.
The consultation ends on 8th December 2016