Residents ask for better rail services in town

Nick Herbert and Claire Perry SUS-150115-171956001
Nick Herbert and Claire Perry SUS-150115-171956001

SHOREHAM residents have shared their frustration over rail services as the government demands for improvements this month.

The 07.29 Brighton to London Victoria train service, which stops at Shoreham, failed to arrive on time on any of its 240 attempts last year.

Recently speaking to BBC Sussex and BBC Surrey, David Cameron said that delayed services were ‘extremely frustrating’ and added: “Frankly if the operators continue to fail then they should be at risk of losing their franchise because it’s not good enough to have services like this.”

On the ‘New Shoreham-by-Sea Group’ Facebook page, residents have raised concern about over crowded carriages and late trains on the Brighton line.

Mo Sheppard said: “It’s getting increasingly difficult to get a seat from Shoreham to Victoria.

“I remember years ago we used to have 12 carriages to choose from, then it was down to eight then six. Now only four. I have to buy a first class ticket to ensure I get a seat.

“Then sometimes that’s impossible as the journey is unchecked by a ticket inspector.”

Richard Goodman said: “I don’t know the answer, but what I would like to see is proper privatisation.

“I know it’s not feasible, but I would like to see companies competing on routes, so I have a choice between two companies if I want to travel to London.”

MP Nick Herbert met the Rail Minister on January 6 to discuss services in West Sussex.

The MP, who was recently appointed President of the West Sussex Rail Users Association, said that he had received complaints about the punctuality of trains.

Mr Herbert asked to see Claire Perry MP, the Parliamentary Under Secretary at the Department of Transport.

Mrs Perry said that while a certain amount of disruption was caused by the £6 billion London Bridge improvements, this did not excuse poor reliability generally, especially on the Brighton line.

After the meeting, Mr Herbert said: “I was grateful for the opportunity to relay my constituents’ concerns about local rail services.

“I look forward to meeting with the rail operators and Network Rail with the Minister to hear how they intend to improve their performance.”

Mr Herbert also raised the issue of the Arundel Chord, the proposal for a short piece of line to allow trains to turn east below Arundel. However, Network Rail found that there would be insufficient benefits to justify the cost, which would be between £35 and £75m.