England

Southern trains to restore Seaford Brighton service

Southern rail replacement bus Image copyright PA
Image caption Replacement buses have been running from Seaford station

Troubled Southern Railway is to restore trains between Seaford and Brighton after the service was cut as part of an emergency timetable 10 weeks ago.

The company said it would run the normal half-hourly service, which was replaced with buses, from Monday.

It comes the day after its parent company Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) launched a consultation on a massive shake-up of timetables.

The direct services between Brighton and Seaford could be reduced from 2018.

Southern cut 341 trains out of 2,242 from its timetable on 11 July as GTR battled to cope with a dispute with the RMT union over the role of guards on the trains.

Some services were later restored, including five in Transport Secretary Chris Grayling's Epsom constituency.

Inner London and West London Line services were reintroduced on 5 September and the full timetable from Tonbridge and Reigate to Redhill and London Victoria/London Bridge on Monday.

Image caption Hundreds of angry passengers attended a protest meeting in Seaford in July

Passenger services director Alex Foulds said Southern was sorry for the "hassle and inconvenience" to Seaford.

"The replacement of many of the Seaford trains with buses was understandably hard-felt by the local community," he said.

"We are pleased now to be able to restore the town's full service.

"We made a commitment at the start of the month to restore the full timetable of services incrementally and we're on track to deliver on that promise and in the coming weeks other services will be back too."

GTR is consulting the public on plans for trains from the south of England to London, Bedford, Cambridge and Peterborough.

Direct trains between London Victoria and Seaford may no longer run with journey times between Victoria and Eastbourne and direct services between Brighton and Seaford reduced.

Other services from Brighton could be increased.

A spokesman for the RMT said the reinstatement of the Seaford service was "another con trick".

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