Gatwick Express services reduced in ‘leaf fall’ season

Brighton station (Photograph: Eddie Mitchell)

Rail services from Brighton to London Victoria will see some services axed this autumn, in a bid to ‘manage the effect of the leaf fall season’.

It will Gatwick Express services reduced on weekdays from Monday, October 16 to Friday, December 8, affecting commuters in Brighton, Mid Sussex and Crawley.

Rail operators around the country said they are making the move in response to ‘slippery conditions’ caused by leaf fall in autumn, often leading to congestion and knock-on delays.

Services set to be temporarily axed include the 8.15am and 8.30am from Brighton to London Victoria, and the 4pm, 4.30pm and 7pm service from London Victoria to Brighton.

Brighton resident and commuter Katie Snaydon said: “Between the 7.45am and 8.45am there are no direct trains from Brighton to Victoria - a whole hour during peak time with no service.

“Alternative services involve changes and extended journey time on more crowded services, and we pay £5,000 a year for the pleasure.”

The new timetable was discussed by members of the Association of British Commuters Facebook group, with some calling the move ‘outrageous’.

A Gatwick Express spokesman said: “The Brighton mainline is the most congested route in the country and, in line with the rest of the rail industry, we have to make these changes to help protect the vast majority of trains that would be affected across the south east. Similar changes were made last year.”

For a full list of the timetable changes on the Gatwick Express, visit: www.gatwickexpress.com

An explanation by Network Rail on the impact of leaves on the railway line can be found here.

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