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Preston Park train services

Volume 645: debated on Tuesday 17 July 2018

I rise to lodge a petition on behalf of people impacted by the decimation of rail services at Preston Park station in Brighton. Some 1,098 people have signed the petition in just five days. Services at this extremely busy and vital station have been slashed by around 30% at peak times, and cancellations on top of the devastated timetable have left Preston Park almost unusable. Victoria services are rammed full on arrival, or too late to be of use for work. London Bridge and St Pancras trains have been hit by a 43% cut in the morning and 53% cut in evening peak times. This is leading to dangerous overcrowding and distress. Preston Park commuters are literally at their wits’ end.

The petition states:

The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to reinstate Preston Park train services to the same level as prior to the 20 May 2018 timetable changes as a minimum, include reintroduction of Gatwick Express services to Victoria with all peak northbound trains to originate from Brighton station and re-introduction of peak time southbound trains which start service from London Bridge station, gaps of no more than 15 minutes between services on Gatwick Express, Thameslink and Southern trains, 12 carriages at peak times and proper investment to the station, to ensure safe reliable train travel for the thousands of people using the station daily.

Following is the full text of the petition:

[Declares that the timetable change on 20 May 2018 has left Preston Park train services decimated with a significant reduction in the number of trains stopping at the station and large proportion of those that do now stop coming from further afield and already full to capacity when they arrive for boarding; further that people have been removed from the Gatwick Express service and from the Brighton mainline during peak hours, and the Thameslink services have been slashed, further that the timetable changes have led to long gaps between the trains and dangerous overcrowding with potential serious health and safety issues, making train travel unbearable for passengers, many of whom now have to travel into city; further that the infrequent services have caused severe stress and disruption to people’s lives and work, with many fearing for their jobs; further that Preston Park station is a vital daily commuting station for the city of Brighton and Hove; further that since many regular commuters buy their seasonal and daily tickets from Brighton station, the actual number of people using Preston Park station is likely to be much higher than the official figures indicate particularly as there are no exit barriers to record the numbers; and further that the reduced services to and from the station are having an impact not only on local residents but also on the city and its surrounding areas from an increase in car journeys as a result.

The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to reinstate Preston Park train services to the same level as prior to the 20 May 2018 timetable changes as a minimum, include reintroduction of Gatwick Express services to Victoria with all peak northbound trains to originate from Brighton station and re-introduction of peak time southbound trains which start service from London Bridge station, gaps of no more than 15 minutes between services on Gatwick Express, Thameslink and Southern trains, 12 carriages at peak times and proper investment to the station, to ensure safe reliable train travel for the thousands of people using the station daily.

And the petitioners remain etc.]

[P002223]