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Eastbourne & Willingdon Lib Dems

Lib Dems Act To Tackle Train Overcrowding

January 16, 2010 12:37 AM

Stephen Lloyd and Norman Baker MPRelief is in sight for hard-pressed Eastbourne commuters following heavy pressure on Southern from local Lib Dems. The town's parliamentary spokesman, Stephen Lloyd, has been in a series of meetings with next door Lewes MP Norman Baker, the party's Shadow Transport Secretary, to ensure Eastbourne's voice is heard where it matters - at the top of the Department for Transport and the top of Southern.

Under tremendous pressure, Southern has now accepted that three evening services to Eastbourne are particularly overcrowded: the 16.17 from Victoria, the 17.23 from London Bridge, and the 18.47 from Victoria, and has accepted that each needs an extra 4 carriages. It is now busy identifying where these may come from.

Stephen Lloyd says: "It is intolerable that commuters from Eastbourne are being asked to pay through the nose for their journeys, yet can at worst find it impossible to get a seat on the way back from London until the train reaches Lewes. This is simply not good enough and I am determined to get more carriages for the most overcrowded trains."

Lewes MP Norman Baker adds: "It has been very helpful to get regular detailed input from Stephen Lloyd about the difficulties faced by Eastbourne passengers, and I have been able to reflect this in my regular one-to-one discussions with both the Transport Secretary Lord Adonis, and with Southern's MD Chris Burchell. This means that Eastbourne's voice has been heard at the top table in a way that wouldn't have happened otherwise."

The Lib Dems are also putting pressure on the Department for Transport and Southern to reduce journey times from Eastbourne to London. Stephen says: "There are two trains an hour to London. Why can't one of these be a very limited stop service, and one a stopping service? After all, that is roughly the pattern which passengers out of Brighton can choose from. I am pleased that Norman has also been pursuing this idea at the highest level and am hopeful progress can be made towards this ultimate goal."