Saturday 29 July – Brighton to Hassocks / Falmer inclusive closed from 21:00
RMT strike action will affect the entire railway network tomorrow (Saturday 29 July).
GTR are making a change to the plan in the Brighton area due to the anticipated unavailability of station staff. This could change at short notice if staff availability improves but GTR have made the decision to restrict hours to those that they can resource through their contingency staff.
Brighton station will be closed from 21:00. As the station is a terminus, there will be no trains between:
- Haywards Heath and Brighton, including at Burgess Hill, Hassocks and Preston Park
- Hove and Brighton
- Lewes and Brighton, including at Falmer, Moulsecoomb, London Road (Brighton).
GTR are now advising customers travelling during the strike in these areas to plan to complete journeys by 19:00.
As tomorrow will see national strike action there is the potential for further disruption. Passengers are advised to allow additional time and to plan their journeys carefully, especially for last trains.
Saturday 5 August – Important change to train services - No services to or from the Brighton area on Saturday 5 August
The recent announcement of the ASLEF overtime ban from Monday 31 July to Saturday 5 August has meant GTR have had to carefully reassess all of their plans for the network on Saturday 5 August as this date sees peak demand for Brighton Pride with, in normal years, hundreds of thousands of additional journeys.
Due to significant safety concerns, no trains will now run to Brighton or nearby stations on Saturday 5 August.
Every year, GTR runs a significantly enhanced service for Pride with additional late-night trains on Saturday evening. These enhancements are needed to safely transport the huge number of people that travel into Brighton during Pride’s busiest day but also home again after the popular Saturday community parade and Fabuloso fundraiser in Preston Park.
As these services are not part of the regular Saturday timetable, in normal times, these services are covered by volunteer drivers. The ASLEF overtime ban means that our volunteers cannot take part, and without the additional late-night services there is a clear risk of stranding tens of thousands of people overnight without accommodation. On Saturday evening there is always a massive demand for return travel over a short period of time, with a capacity shortfall of 20,000 passengers expected in the busiest hours of the evening alone.
Keeping passengers and colleagues safe is the absolute priority and following discussions with the council, police and emergency services, as well as our own risk assessments, GTR has very sadly concluded that we cannot safely run any services as it would be impossible to avoid severe overcrowding and present a considerable risk to passenger safety.
We cannot in good faith bring people into Brighton who we know would have no chance of getting home, or be caught up amongst tens of thousands of other people, all trying to get onto a very limited number of trains at the same time. We know that while people will understand the safety concern, this will not offset the frustration and we are really sorry to everyone who will be affected, especially in the LGBTQ+ community. We hope by making this decision now we enable as many people as possible to make alternative arrangements.
Further information specific to Brighton Pride is available at: www.southernrailway.com/travel-information/plan-your-journey/brighton-pride
- An amended timetable will be in place across the GTR network (please see more details below)
- Stations between Three Bridges and Brighton will not be served all day
- Trains will not run along the southern coastways into Brighton because of the amended timetable.
- Services to and from Brighton will be unaffected on Friday 4th or Sunday 6th August
Significant impact to the wider GTR network on Saturday 5th August
There will also be a significant impact to the wider network. This is because Brighton is a terminus station – so is integral to the operation of the Southern, Thameslink and, by connection, Great Northern networks. On Saturday 5th, Three Bridges will be used instead of Brighton as a turn back point for the Brighton mainline, in particular to enable Gatwick Airport and other major stations on the route to be served.
However, the added complication of significant engineering work such as between London Bridge and Tulse Hill or on the Great Northern Metro means that GTR have had to revert to their contingency service, as previously used on some RMT strike dates as the only available plan that can be adapted and delivered in the time available.
As on previous earlier RMT strike dates, this means that fewer services will run, some stations will not be served and some routes, particularly north of London, will start later and finish much earlier than normal. As a general rule, hours of service will be between 07:00-19:00, with some extensions, particularly on the routes that directly serve airports. It is especially important that early-morning or late-night customers for the airports check their journeys and make alternative arrangements if required.
Journey planners such as www.nationalrail.co.uk for travel on Saturday 5th August are expected to be updated from this Saturday, 29th July.
There is no change to the current plan for services on Friday 4th or Sunday 6th August.