March 8th, 2023.

Lewes Lib Dems release:

Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Lewes, James MacCleary, has welcomed Southern Rail's announcement of newer trains on the Seaford-Brighton line. James and the local Lib Dems have been running a campaign to get the outdated trains replaced.

The announcement came in response to a letter written by James to the train operator, Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), the parent company of Southern Rail.

James and the Lib Dems have long been advocating for improvements to the Seaford-Brighton line, including the replacement of the Class 313 trains. The retirement of these trains and the introduction of the Electrostar trains will provide a much-needed upgrade to the line and improve the overall experience for passengers.

James MacCleary, parliamentary candidate for the Lewes constituency which includes Seaford and Newhaven, said: "As a Newhaven resident I often use the line to travel to Seaford and Lewes and on towards Brighton. It has been appalling that residents have been expected to put up with outdated trains with no air conditioning or toilets. I have been contacted by residents who don’t use the train because there are no toilet facilities.

“Last year we launched a petition and I have written to Southern Rail more than once demanding improvements. Now we have finally got the answer we wanted and Southern Rail have confirmed that they will be replacing the outdated Class 313 trains with newer Electrostars this summer starting in May. The new trains will have accessible toilets and air conditioning.

"We won’t stop campaigning for improvements though. The ‘new’ trains are in fact already twenty years old themselves and we don’t want to end up in the same situation again. I also want to see them reinstate the direct London Victoria services from Seaford and increase the frequency along the Seaford - Brighton line.

“I am also calling on the government to freeze rail fares which went up by 5.9% again last weekend. We need to encourage more use of public transport, but residents are being priced out of using the train.”
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