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Changes to Southern services – GTR announce biggest ever timetable shake-up

The timetable which will operate as from next month will mean changes to trains running through Gatwick and to the Brighton mainline as a whole.

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Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), which includes Thameslink, Great Northern, Southern and Gatwick Express, has advised passengers to plan ahead for the biggest timetable shake-up in UK rail history in a month’s time.

Ahead of the new schedule, which will operate from 02.00 on Sunday 20 May, the UK’s largest rail franchise, GTR has published the new details of train services that will affect almost a million rail journeys a day in the southern half of the UK and includes changes to trains running along the Brighton mainline.

More news: New Careers Expo for Crawley residents comes to Manor Royal

GTR runs up to 3,200 trains a day – one every 27 seconds – and the times of all of these will change under the improved timetable.

GTR passengers will benefit from more frequent services and the shake-up will mean changes to the Brighton mainline too.

A new all day direct service between Brighton, Gatwick Airport, Central London, Stevenage and Cambridge will be introduced. This will be phased in as 1 train per hour until Dec 2018 when the frequency will increase to 2 trains per hour.

The full timetable changes can be seen here.

Space for 40,000 more passengers into London at peak times will be added next month, a weekly capacity boost equivalent to the population of Bristol.

Expansion of service is a major step forward in the Government-sponsored £7bn Thameslink Programme, the upgrade project which includes the recently-completed £1bn upgrade of London Bridge station by Network Rail.

Over more than a decade, platforms have been extended, stations rebuilt, and power supplies boosted for longer trains. Signalling has been upgraded and track reworked to improve reliability and allow trains to travel at high-frequency through central London in “self-drive” mode. GTR has also undertaken the UK’s biggest driver recruitment and training campaign.

Charles Horton, GTR Chief Executive, said:

“A huge number of passengers will notice the benefits in terms of new journeys, better intervals between trains, improved reliability, and more capacity across a wide region.

“We are redeploying trains and crew and there may be some disruption, so we ask passengers for their understanding during the transition period of several weeks during which time a very small number of trains will not run.

“Almost a quarter of all rail journeys are taken on the GTR network and because of the necessary scale of the change we strongly urge passengers to check ahead as to how their journeys will be affected.

“Introduction of the new timetables is a major milestone in the delivery of RailPlan 20/20, our programme to modernise rail services, taking advantage of the new infrastructure and trains provided by the Thameslink Programme.

“These changes followed the biggest and most effective consultation of its kind during which we made hundreds of amendments, some substantial, in response to 28,000 responses.”

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Crime

Crawley teen girl one of four arrested during police drugs operation

A man and three teenagers were arrested during a drugs operation at The Level in Brighton over two days.

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A 15-year-old Hove boy and a 16-year-old girl from Crawley were arrested by police officers on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of cannabis and burglary with intent to steal and a 16-year-old girl from Brighton, was detained on suspicion of burglary with intent to steal on Thursday (16 August). They were questioned and released under investigation.

On Friday (17 August) a 23-year-old Brighton man was arrested after he ran from police officers through the children’s play area at The Level. He was detained on suspicion of possession with intent to supply cannabis after a large quantity of the drug worth several hundreds of pounds was seized (pictured) along with cash and other drugs paraphernalia. He was also arrested on suspicion of possession of heroin. He has also been released under investigation.

Chief Inspector Rachel Swinney said:

“Our prevention officers, who play a crucial role in helping tackle local issues, have been targeting suspected drug dealers at The Level using high visibility patrols, covert patrols and our passive drugs dog. We are also trying to identify drug users to direct them to agencies who can support them.

“If anyone suspects drug dealing is going on or has any information about it please contact us.”

You can report suspicious behaviour or drug dealing at our website or ring 101.
For advice and information about drugs see the Sussex Police drug advice page.

* Prevention teams play a crucial role in helping tackle local issues and where possible prevent them happening in the first place. The recent council tax increase will be used to strengthen these local teams.

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