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City MP welcomes decision to keep Portsmouth to Brighton direct train link following discussions with railway operators

By 22 February 2024No Comments

Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan has welcomed the decision by Southern to keep the direct Portsmouth to Brighton train following discussions between the city MP and the railway operators.

Plans for the redesigned train timetable by Southern operated by Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) last year included proposals to axe the direct train service between the two south coast locations, but following engagement with Mr Morgan, the new timetable retains direct hourly services.

The new timetable also doubles the frequency of services between London and Portsmouth via Gatwick Airport from hourly to half-hourly, and will be extended to Portsmouth Harbour for better connections to ferry services and local attractions late into the evening.

Mr Morgan wrote to the senior leadership at GTR to share concerns about the proposals and has been meeting with the team to ensure consultation findings lead to improved services for Portsmouth’s commuters. Local people and organisations also fed into the formal consultation process.

Commenting on the news that the Portsmouth to Brighton rail link is being kept, Portsmouth MP Stephen Morgan said:

“I was concerned when I saw Southern’s proposed timetable changes last year which included the loss of the direct route between Portsmouth and Brighton.

“I know that link is of great importance to my constituents whether it’s those who travel to Brighton for work, university or summer day-trips.

“That is why I engaged in talks with the train operator to see what could be done to save the route, and I am pleased that Southern have listened, adapted and will be retaining this link which so many constituents use.”

Mr Morgan, Labour’s Shadow Rail Minister, has prioritised improving public transport links in Portsmouth since he was first elected in 2017. Last year he successfully campaigned for the government to u-turn on its plan to close rail ticket offices in Portsmouth and across the country.

The next Labour government has committed to putting passengers back at the heart of our railways by bringing rail back into public ownership as contracts expire.