Tourists and other passengers hoping to travel by rail are being left stranded at Rye and Ashford stations, unable to board overcrowded trains. The Marshlink Action Group (MLAG) kept track of numbers over the past weekend, August 4 and 5 2018.
Where do all the tourists go? Well, of course, they go home – eventually. But, first, they have to get here. And many of those tourists coming and going are doing so by rail. So, when they get home, how will they reflect on their trip to Rye?
MLAG has, again, looked at the difficulties tourists encounter getting to and from Rye. Last weekend we found the following (some numbers approximated; times are all at Rye).
Saturday morning (when crowding is in the direction from Ashford to Rye):
10:48 – 120 left behind at Ashford
11:48 – 70 left behind
12:48 – 20 left behind
Saturday afternoon/evening (so crowding is in the direction from Rye to Ashford):
15:48 – 50 left behind at Rye
16:48 – 79 left behind
17:48 – 109 left behind
10:48 – 70 left behind at Ashford
11>48 – 30 left behind
18.48 – 102 left behind at Rye. See the photo aboce taken after no more passengers were able to board the train with more still piling onto the platform
19:48 – 57 left behind, most took a replacement bus which appeared without announcement
[20 48 – unable to check]
21:48 – train cancelled, replacement bus announced
22:37 – replacement bus announced
So, there were some very unhappy tourists.
We don’t know if the Pride rally in Brighton had any effect on numbers – we wouldn’t have thought so, travelling via Rye is now (with the cutting of the service at Eastbourne) a train change too much.
We don’t say the overcrowding at Rye is comparable with the problems at Brighton last weekend – but the Rye situation was bad and dangerous!
[Editor’s note: Southern will no doubt say they do not have enough diesel units for the single line non-electrified track, but they have managed before in 2015 to provide four coaches in the summer period – but only at weekends when the units are not needed for Uckfield commuters]
Photos: Stuart Harland and Rye News library