RE: your report that visiting star Ed Sheeran (Observer, May 27) got caught out by the train split at Haywards Heath, ending up in Littlehampton instead of Hastings.
He isn’t the first and certainly won’t be the last. It must be a nightmare for anyone not used to the area and the train services’ complexities. How do tourists manage? Or do they give up?
Not only does this splitting/attachment process cause confusion but it also adds delays to the journey. SHRIMP calculates that Coastway services to/from London spend approx 100 days per year sitting in Haywards Heath station, all the while burning electricity and using staff time.
To be fair, the franchise operator Southern is fully aware of this problem - not least because SHRIMP raises it with them repeatedly - but they insist that this is the only way that they can achieve two Coastway trains per hour each way on the main Brighton to London rail line that is operating at capacity.
We can only hope that the various stages of change over the coming years will bring this situation to an end.
St Leonards and Hastings Rail Improvement Programme (SHRIMP)