Travel made easy
Back from Brighton a couple of days ago.
That’s kind-of more newsworthy than a simple journey should be. Travel to Brighton has been disrupted, first by a lot of general disruption on Southern Railways, and more recently by strikes adding to travel problems. Brighton’s commuters have a lot of horror stories about their troubles.
By planning my journey at specific times of day, I can travel from here to Brighton on just two trains, both operated by First Group, and changing at Westbury. So I can easily avoid the disrupted trains. However, that puts me on a short train of just three coaches for the Westbury-Brighton journey. And from Southampton, it’s a stretch served also by much longer Southern trains, many of them eight coaches. So the worry was that my train might be overwhelmed with refugees from disrupted Southern services.
So I took a few precautions. I booked in advance, and avoided not just any Southern services, but also their strike days. Booking in advance still seems to be a nightmare, but I eventually managed. Phew!
Come the actual travel, everything is far better than I’d dared hope. Not only are the trains running smoothly and on-time, but I find I have ample space to spread out. Indeed, a double-seat to myself throughout both outward and return journeys. Even in January low season, that’s unusual!
I can only infer that the news of disruption has driven potential passengers away. People with a choice about it are avoiding travel, not merely in the regions affected by disruption, but also on the mainline service from London to southwest England, well clear of the disruption. All the better for those of us who do travel!