The Department for Transport (DfT) today launched a consultation on how best to put into practice the principles of a strategy plan earlier this year which will affect travellers using train lines to and from the popular gay area of Brighton.

The strategy aims to improve journeys for the majority of users on the line and address crowding issues.

At the same time, it seeks to retain a high quality service between Gatwick Airport and Victoria to meet the needs of airline passengers.

Following publication of the Strategy in February, DfT has worked with rail and aviation industries on how best to achieve these aims. The consultation seeks views on a range of options in order to determine how to proceed.

Responses are being sought from all interested parties. After the consultation closes on 22 December 2006, the Department will take forward implementation of the strategy working with industry

partners.

One issue passengers may want to raise is the fact that Brian Souter, the new owner of South Western Trains which operates some services to and from Brighton, has in the past funded a campaign against the repeal of Section 28.

Transport Secretary Douglas Alexander said: “The Strategy published earlier this year laid out the principles for improving the Brighton Main Line.

“In implementing these, it is important that we seek to achieve the best possible balance to meet the needs of Gatwick Airport passengers, while enhancing services for Sussex Coast commuters.

“On completion of the RUS, we began discussions with the industry on how it should be implemented. These identified a number of solutions, which whilst delivering the aims of the RUS could result in quite different timetables.

“It is therefore right that we consult on the options for putting the Strategy into practice.”

The consultation is available on the DfT website at www.dft.gov.uk/stellent/groups/dft_railways/documents/divisionhomepage/612620.hcsp