July 15 2016.

Local MP Maria Caulfield has thanked residents from Seaford, Newhaven and further afield within the constituency for attending yesterday evening's public meeting in Seaford, which gave members of the public the opportunity to quiz representatives from Govia Thameslink Rail Ltd. (GTR) on the current service.

The Lewes MP, who has been lobbying GTR, Southern rail  and the government – most recently writing to the newly-appointed Transport Secretary  Chris Grayling – welcomed the large turn-out, saying that together with the large number of supporters at Tuesday’s demonstration outside Seaford Station, representatives from GTR and the Department for Transport had to take notice.

Expected to be well attended, it is thought that around 600 members of the public turned out in force to question, in main, cuts to the branch line which have seen services to Newhaven and Seaford cut by around 80%.

Responding to seemingly frustrated residents, Angie Doll, Passenger Services Director at GTR apologised to those in the room, assuring attendees that the revised timetable would ‘absolutely not’ become a permanent fixture, and that the stations at Seaford and Newhaven were ‘never considered’ to be under threat of closure, and would be kept in place for the entirety of the time that the franchise was managed by GTR.

Speaking after the meeting, the Maria Caulfield said: “I am really grateful to residents for turning out for this important Public Meeting. I will be sure to feed what was said back to the Transport Secretary - both by residents and GTR - when I meet with him next week.

“I will continue to hold GTR to account for the decisions that it has already made, and continues to make in the future, including lobbying to have the branch line service return to its normal timetable as soon as possible.

“This morning GTR has announced that one extra service will run both into, and out of the towns of Seaford and Lewes. This action, which is likely the result of this week’s activities, is of course welcome, although I fear that this will prove little consolation when compared with the service that the public expect.

“I would like to assure constituents that I will continue to work relentlessly on this issue until such time as I achieve a result that I am happy will be welcomed by constituents. I remain hopeful that such an outcome won’t be too long coming.”
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