Frustration and confusion as timetable change will see services cancelled

Tap to watch a video report by ITV News Meridian's James Dunham

There is anger and frustration amongst people living in parts of Sussex after news that direct train services to London Bridge and St Pancras International will be cut.

Passengers are being assured the cancelling of Thameslink services from East Grinstead from September 6th are only temporary.

The reassurance has done little to ease the confusion from those who are planning a return to the network about why the decision was taken.

Anyone travelling to London Bridge, St Pancras and stations towards Bedford will need to take a Southern train towards London Victoria and change at East Croydon, where extra services are promised.

Laura MacLeman, Victoria Ollington and Matt Hall are among the passengers calling for the timetable changes to be revoked

Govia Thameslink say the changes are needed to meet demand with Covid-19 and the pandemic impacting the level of service that can be delivered.

Politicians are calling on the train company to bring back the services as soon as possible.

Passengers will need to use Southern services towards Victoria instead of Thameslink Credit:

Mid-Sussex District Councillor, Norman Webster said,

"I know of people who have moved to East Grinstead specifically because the service was in the planning stages several years ago and they coincided their move into the town with the train service.

"Just to remove the service entirely is very unfortunate and I can understand the company's situation with passenger numbers being lower but once you remove the service you never get back to normal again."

Mims Davies MP represents Mid-Sussex and says she is pushing for services to be reinstated as soon as possible

The changes at East Grinstead form part of a wider timetable change which Govia Thameslink say will mean 200 extra trains every week day.

  • Most hourly services between Brighton and Hastings will have eight carriages instead of four

  • There will be fewer Brighton and Hove shuttle services with passengers encouraged to use Coastway trains instead

  • Gatwick to Bedford will see the number of services double

  • East Croydon will see increased capacity with additional services

Steve White from Govia Thameslink explains why the decision has been taken to remove the Thameslink trains from East Grinstead

Thameslink insist journey times will increase by no more than seven minutes but passengers who use the East Grinstead service are unconvinced by the cancellation of their direct link into London Bridge and beyond.