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New Southern timetable adds 5,000 South Coast seats from 3 June in response to customer feedback

Posted: 17 May 2024 | | No comments yet

Southern have issued a reminder that their new timetable will come into effect in June, adding 5000 South Coast seats.

southern timetable

Train operator Southern is reminding Hampshire and West Sussex customers that an extensively redesigned and improved timetable will mean more comfort, convenience and connections along the south coast from Monday 3 June.

The improvements to weekday and Saturday schedules include new and more frequent services with expanded capacity on busier routes, evenly spaced departures to cut waiting times, and better reliability and punctuality.

These improvements will encourage existing customers to make more journeys, and attract new passengers, including people currently using congested roads such as the A27/M27.

More details available here: www.southernrailway.com/westcoastway

The main features are:

  • The number of trains between Brighton, Worthing and Chichester will double from two to four an hour (one running via Littlehampton), Monday to Saturday, creating more than 5,000 extra seats every day. This includes:
    • doubling services between Brighton and Southampton from hourly to half-hourly to meet demand on this route, cutting journey times while making an extra stop at Woolston for easy connections with the local bus networks;
    • a new hourly, all-stations Brighton to Littlehampton and Chichester service, connecting Brighton and Littlehampton with an all-day service for the first time since 2007;
    • retaining the hourly Brighton to Portsmouth service, originally to be withdrawn, in response to public feedback;
  • London to Portsmouth services via Gatwick Airport will double in frequency from hourly to half-hourly, and will be extended to Portsmouth Harbour for better connections to local ferry services and attractions;
  • Departures will be more evenly spaced so customers don’t have to wait so long for a train.
  • The changes will also allow longer turn-round times at terminals, to improve punctuality and reduce disruption.

To allow these frequency increases, journeys on the less popular routes between Southampton and London via Gatwick Airport, Littlehampton and Bognor Regis, and Littlehampton and Portsmouth will now involve a change at Barnham. The new services between Brighton and the Hampshire ports will replace the half-hourly Brighton to Hove shuttle.

Jenny Saunders, Southern’s Customer Services Director, said: “We’re making these changes to give passengers more trains and many more seats on our more popular routes. Services will be much more frequent, more punctual, faster in some cases, and more reliable right across the network. There will be less waiting for trains as well because we’ll space out the services more evenly.

“Increasing comfort, convenience and connections will encourage greener travel on our electric trains, improving the environment for communities from Southampton to Brighton while boosting local economies.”

Southern finalised the redesign following a three-month public engagement programme last year, taking into account the hundreds of comments received from passengers and local communities.

Jenny Saunders added: “We considered every response carefully and, to better serve our customers’ needs, we made eight main amendments to our original proposals, and incorporated hundreds of smaller changes to the times of individual trains.”

Rail Minister Huw Merriman said: “It’s vital that our railways stay up-to-date and reflect what passengers want. These changes, which come following feedback from local communities, will deliver better services for more people across the South.”

The most significant amendments Southern have made in response to public feedback are to retain direct hourly services between Brighton and Portsmouth, which were initially to be withdrawn; to improve connectivity for intermediate stations between Chichester and Havant; to provide a new, later last train from Portsmouth to Chichester; and adjustments to schedules and stopping patterns as requested by schools, parents and shift workers.

Development of the timetable was led by Southern, working closely with partners at Network Rail, South Western Railway, Great Western Railway and freight operators to create an integrated plan for the area.

Full details on all the changes can be found on the Southern website at: www.southernrailway.com/westcoastway

The new timetable is available in journey planners on the Southern website or National Rail Enquiries.

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