Rail revolt as trains dump passengers

TRAIN passengers using the Arun Valley line are being regularly dumped at Horsham so that a late-running train can be run fast to Barnham and make up time, a West Chiltington man has claimed.

Graham Jeffs, who commutes from Pulborough, says this has been a consistent practice over the past months.

But Chris Hudson, a spokesman for train operator Southern, has denied this, saying that since a revised service for Arun Valley was introduced in December 2007, it had provided the much larger number of passengers from Chichester with a fast train that had transformed the future of the Arun Valley line.

Mr Jeffs said the division of trains at Horsham, running the front part destined for Portsmouth fast to Barnham and then running the second part of the train, for Bognor Regis, as a stopping train to the intermediate stations between Horsham and Barnham, had resulted in a 10-minute increase to most journey times from stations such as Billingshurst, Pulborough and Arundel.

He also claimed that on Monday, January 12, the 18.02 from Victoria was delayed by nearly 15 minutes on its journey to Horsham.

On arrival at Horsham, passengers for stations between Horsham and Barnham were told to leave the train and wait for the next train, which was said to be arriving in nine minutes.

More than 100 passengers left the train, some remonstrating with station staff and causing the undivided train to be further delayed.

For full story see West Sussex Gazette January 21