Rail replacement buses will again run between Redhill and Gatwick Airport this Sunday (4 March 2018), but Govia Thameslink Railway says extra measures have been put in place after last weekend’s problems.
Last Sunday (25 February) police had to help with the number of people waiting in the cold at Redhill. The situation got so bad that many residents stopped by the station to offer lifts, before Govia were able to improve the situation later in the day. Govia apologised.
This weekend, the work, near Earlswood, means there’ll be amended services today (Saturday), and only buses on the Sunday for those travelling south from Redhill.
When asked about its plans, given last Sunday’s problems, a Govia spokesperson said:
“After careful consideration, Network Rail will continue with engineering work this weekend near Redhill as planned.
As a result there will again be no train services between Redhill and Gatwick on Sunday.
We are providing an enhanced replacement bus service with extra staff to assist passengers. There will be more high-capacity buses running directly between Redhill and Gatwick Airport stations, and an additional bus link between East Grinstead and Gatwick Airport.
These extra measures have been introduced following difficulties last Sunday and we are confident that we have a resilient system in place. However, we urge people strongly to check information before they travel, particularly as the winter weather continues to be a challenge.
Passengers are urged to use alternative transport this Sunday where possible, and travel only if necessary.
We appreciate our passengers’ patience and co-operation while this essential work is carried out to upgrade the Brighton Mainline.”
Services are also altered over the weekend between Reigate and Redhill, so it’s worth checking before travelling.
The Reigate, Redhill & District Rail Users’ Association (RRDRUA) – which expressed concern ahead of last weekend’s work – isn’t optimistic that all will go smoothly on Sunday, saying on its news page:
“On the face of it this weekend they’ll be doing what they should have been doing last weekend on the bus front. However there simply won’t be enough trains.
Passengers at Merstham and Coulsdon South were unable to board services last Sunday as they were full. The issue isn’t really being dealt with.”
RRDRUA does acknowledge some services have been added, both north from Redhill and elsewhere, and lists a number of options to avoid travel through Redhill.
As for the project itself, a Govia spokesperson said:
“Network Rail’s work at Earlswood on the Brighton Mainline is a crucial part of a £300m package of improvements designed to reduce delays across our network and is critical for the delivery of our May timetable, which will create capacity for up to 40,000 more passengers into London.
Engineers are halfway through the physical work now, with testing planned for the third weekend.”
Govia operates the Southern, Thameslink and Gatwick Express routes.
National Rail Enquiries – for journey planning
RRDRUA news page