‘Hassocks deserves a better rail service’ claims council chairman

Hassocks railway station. Photo by Steve Robards
Hassocks railway station. Photo by Steve Robards

Hassocks residents are not getting the high quality train service they deserve, says Ian Weir, chairman of Hassocks Parish Council.

Mr Weir states that despite constant promises to improve and the intervention of MP Nick Herbert, the service has only marginally improved since the chaos following the revised May 2018 timetable.

He said: “The serious underperformance of Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) services since May 2018, has impacted both commuter and social users travel arrangements, with large numbers of trains cancelled or failing to stop as scheduled at Hassocks.

“One particular issue that really upsets residents is the frequent occurrence of ‘skip–stopping’ where the train misses out a stop at Hassocks to save time – this often happens even when the train is running on-time.

“This puts young and vulnerable residents at risk as they have to make alternative choices with little or no warning.”

Mr Weir said Hassocks Parish Council cites a number of issues that need addressing.

These include:

• 1,117 trains cancelled for the first 6 months of 2019;

• GTR failing to report train performance correctly

• GTR operating trains under one franchise but advertising it under another of their franchises

He added: “The parish council is calling on the ‘The Office of Rail’ (ORR) to take Govia-Thameslink to task and insist that they deliver a truly reliable service. After all why can we not be as good as Japan?”

GTR has been approached for a response.

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More than 2,000 people in Mid Sussex claiming Universal Credit