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Parliament delays Lucas's bid to renationalise the rail service

She's one of many Sussex commuters fed up with the standards of service of our trains but she has a bit more clout than the average commuter - and today she set about using it.

Caroline Lucas, the Green Party MP for Brighton Pavilion, has launched a Parliamentary Bill proposing the renationalisation of the rail network. She says it would reduce fares, improve punctuality and save taxpayers a billion pounds a year. Andy Dickenson reports.

The Department for Transport have now issued a statement for this report.

They said: "We are determined to make journeys better and it is unacceptable that customers are not always receiving the service they deserve.

"We believe that franchising provides the best way to improve services and closely monitor the performance of all train companies - and offer them incentives to meet targets."

Longer platforms, longer trains

Start of work to extend platform at Hever Stn Credit: Network Rail

The Tonbridge MP Tom Tugendhat has formally marked the start of a project that will extend twelve station platforms between Edenbridge and Uckfield. The project will allow the introduction of 10-coach trains that will reduce crowding on the Uckfield line and help to meet growing passenger demand. The new longer trains will increase capacity on the line during the morning peak by 50% from July 2016.

Network Rail will build the longer platforms and infrastructure, and Southern Railway will lease, refurbish and run the trains.

“I am pleased that the platform extensions on the Uckfield line are taking place and will be completed soon. This will mean that commuters and other rail users will be able to have a more comfortable journey as trains are able to take extra carriages. Work is now underway and this will be a huge benefit to the local community in providing a better train service. I look forward to the completion of the work early next year”.

– Tom Tugendhat MP

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E-cigarettes ban on Southern Trains from end of July

Southern Trains is to ban its passengers from using electronic cigarettes on its trains or at its stations from the 26th July.

The rail operator said the measure brings Southern and Gatwick Express services into line with the rules on Thameslink and Great Northern services. Southern and Gatwick Express will join the other two firms in the Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) franchise at the end of July 2015.

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