No wonder train is overcrowded

Hastings Observer letters
Hastings Observer letters

From: Eric Waters, Ingleside Crescent, Lancing

Phil Hutchinson, head of strategic planning for Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), said in a letter to the Observer that his company was acutely aware that there are some significant crowding issues on the route from Ashford International to Brighton, in particular at weekends and during summer weekdays.

I used this route recently to travel between Brighton and Hastings, and then back again, and the two journeys could not have been more different.

Brighton to Hastings, travelling on what I assumed was a service operated by a division of GTR called Snail Rail, took me over 80 minutes with the train stopping at 17 different stations. The fact that it needed to call at Hampden Park station twice made a grand total of 18 stops.

However, Hastings to Brighton was a different kettle of fish altogether, with Snail rail being replaced by The Flying Sussexman.

The journey in this direction was nearly 20 minutes quicker and, this time, we only stopped six times instead of the 18 on the outwards trip.

There is little wonder that, with this amount of time saving, this particular service has, as the GTR spokesman said, ‘significant crowding issues’.

(I think he actually meant overcrowding but that’s the way spokespeople speak).

So, what’s the answer to the problem?

Well. GTR could just try running a few more four carriage electric trains stopping at fewer stations.

As Orlov the meerkat says in his TV adverts, “Simples!”