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Disruption expected to & from London Victoria until 8pm following evacuation

Although London Victoria station reopened at 12.50pm, trains to & from the station may still see some delays.

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The fire brigade were investigating the cause of an activated fire alarm at London Victoria today that led to the whole station being evacuated.

The activation of the fire alarm occurred at approximately 12.10pm today and meant a lot of train services were delayed or suspended.

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Gatwick Express announced that their services were still suspended even after London Victoria had reopened.

A Southern & Gatwick Express spokesperson said:

“London Victoria rail station, not the Underground station, is being evacuated following activation of the fire alarm at approximately 12.10pm.

“Tickets for Southern services are being accepted on Thameslink between Blackfriars and Brighton.

“Owing to the fire alarm activating at London Victoria, all rail lines into the station are blocked.

“We are advising customers to allow extra time for their journey and travel via other routes.”

Southern and Gatwick Express tickets will be valid on the following routes:

  • Mutual Ticket Acceptance between Southern and Thameslink on all reasonable routes.
  • Great Western Railway services between Gatwick, Reading and London Paddington.
  • South Western Railway services via any reasonable route.
  • Tramlink between East Croydon and Wimbledon.
  • Southeastern, via Cannon Street, Charing Cross to Tunbridge Wells.
  • London Buses between East Croydon and Central London.
  • TfL Underground services across all reasonable routes.

Southern & Gatwick Express has since announced the reopening of London Victoria at 12.50.

National Rail have issued an alert stating that the disruption to and from London Victoria could go on until 8pm:

Further information can be found here.

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Crawley Labour’s push for railway clean-up

Years of littering led to a potential health hazard in the areas close to Ifield station.

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Before & after the clean-up [Images: Cllr Geraint Thomas].

Crawley Labour party members and residents in Ifield are delighted that after many months of trying Network Rail have eventually cleared up the rubbish alongside the railway by Ifield Station.

The rubbish alongside the footbridge at the end of Ifield Drive had gradually accumulated over many years forming both an eyesore and a potential health hazard.

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Cllr Geraint Thomas, the Cabinet member for Environmental Services and Sustainability took up the challenge after residents complained about the rubbish alongside the footbridge at Ifield Station in Ifield Drive. Former Cllr John Stanley had tried every which way to find who was responsible for this litter and to get someone to clear it up – Crawley Borough Council could not remove it as it was on railway land but action was soon taken to find out who was responsible and prepared to act.

Clearing up litter and fly-tipping is often made more difficult by the need to establish the actual owner of the land. Contrary to what many people think the public land in Crawley is not always owned by Crawley Borough Council and may typically be owned by WSCC or a private organisation or individual. Establishing the right owner is just part of the process as the owner must be willing to effect a clean-up.

And then there is the question of who pays for the work.

Of course, on the railways it has to be the appropriate organisation. Especially as access and safety concerns have to be addressed – but which is the right organisation?

Cllr Geraint Thomas, Cabinet member for Environmental Services and Sustainability’ said:

“After much persistence I am delighted to have found a contact at Network Rail that was able and willing to clear up this mess. I am now looking to take advantage of this contact and have other trouble spots cleared up as well.”

Ifield councillor Cllr Peter Smith said: “I’m pleased that Cllr Thomas has succeeded in getting this cleared up. My former colleague John Stanley had invested a lot of time and effort trying to get this done and I know that he would have been pleased to see the results achieved. We now have to get the bridge on Berrymeade Walk in Ifield West added to the list for cleaning.”

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