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GTR 2018 TIMETABLE CONSULTATION – RESPONSE FROM BURGESS HILL TOWN COUNCIL

GTR 2018 Timetable Consultation
East Side Offices
Kings Cross Station
Kings Cross
London
N1C 4AP Steven Cridland  01444 238208
 steve@burgesshill.gov.uk
 
  19 July 2017
Dear Sir or Madam

GTR 2018 TIMETABLE CONSULTATION – BURGESS HILL

Members of the public have drawn my Council’s attention to the serious ramifications of the proposed changes to the 2018 timetable for commuters using Wivelsfield and Burgess Hill stations. As background I should emphasise that Burgess Hill is the largest town in Mid Sussex with a population of 32,000 and is a strategic growth point. The effect of this is that some 5,000 new homes are earmarked for the town which will increase the population to an estimated 45,000 over the next decade. Add to this 2 new Business Parks and a Science Park and you will understand that transport is a serious issue for the town.

Wivelsfield Station:
Comparing the current service with the proposed service, it is clear that the morning peak (trains arriving in London between 7am and 9am) will be reduced by 24% (17 trains to 13). The Train Service Specification for the GTR franchise shows that Wivelsfield should in fact receive 21 trains in the morning peak from 2018 onwards which is a 24% increase on the current service.

Clearly this matter is a major issue for residents of the northern half of Burgess Hill. It is unacceptable for Wivelsfield to be faced with a reduction in service especially as much of the proposed house building in the town will be closer to Wivelsfield station than Burgess Hill Station.

In addition the gap between some peak services is concerning and I highlight the gap between the 06.36 and the 07.02, the 07.36 and 08.02 and the 08.13 and 08.32 services.  

Burgess Hill Station:
The original proposals to the service from London Victoria appear to have been revised such that, in the evening peak, no Gatwick Express (GX) Services will stop at Burgess Hill though all stop at Hassocks rather than just alternate ones. This would double the GX service for Hassocks while Burgess Hill would receive none. This is obviously a nonsense.

Burgess Hill’s evening peak service from London Victoria would virtually be a continuation of the off peak service. It would be a huge disadvantage to Burgess Hill while the proposed service for Hassocks would be enhanced out of all proportion which cannot be justified. We ask that the full GX service be reinstated for Burgess Hill in accordance with your original document published in 2016.

I should mention that the current cost of an annual season ticket from both Burgess Hill and Wivelsfield is £3,688 a year - a substantial part of any passenger's take-home pay, for diminished services.

Reduced services will result in overcrowding at peak times when many commuters rely on the ability and space to do work on the train. Overcrowding has a disproportionate impact on passengers with disabilities, as it is usually impossible for them to stand or find room for equipment that can help them.

Yours sincerely

Steven Cridland
Chief Executive Officer

CC Sir Nicholas Soames MP