Train services will continue to operate on Friday 4 August and Sunday 6 August but the Saturday shutdown poses a considerable challenge for travellers
BY ELLA GAUCI, IMAGE BY OSCAR PORTAN (PEXELS)
As the much-anticipated Brighton & Hove Pride weekend approaches, concerns have been raised about potential travel disruptions due to an overtime ban imposed by rail workers. The ban, announced by Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), is set to affect train services, leaving the city of Brighton isolated from the rest of the UK rail network on Saturday 5 August.
Organisers and businesses are expressing deep disappointment over the decision, which could have significant consequences for the LGBTQIA community and the local economy.
Paul Kemp, the managing director of Pride, expressed his dismay at GTR’s announcement and said: “This will come as a huge shock for not only Pride and the LGBTQIA community but all the businesses preparing to welcome guests to our city from across the UK and world. Many Pride visitors have already booked and paid for Saturday night accommodation locally, they will now have to change plans or find an alternative way to get into the city. It’s truly devastating news for everyone.”
He continued: “Pride always supports the right to protest. Reducing cars on the roads and getting people back on the trains should be a priority to tackle the climate crisis.”
“But we would like to be clear that we don’t agree with GTR’s decision, nor the reasons given for completely stopping train services and the potential of adverse knock-on effects. We’ve worked with GTR for many years. We have been impressed with how well they monitor passenger arrival numbers and can be ready to stop trains coming in, if their service is reaching a capacity level, to make sure people can leave safely again later on.”
Train services will continue to operate on Friday 4 August and Sunday 6 August but the Saturday shutdown poses a considerable challenge for travellers.
The timing of the travel disruption is particularly concerning given the significance of Brighton & Hove Pride weekend, which symbolises solidarity and support for the LGBTQIA community, especially in the face of ongoing challenges to our rights.
To mitigate the disruption and support the city during Pride, visitors are encouraged to consider arriving on Friday 4 August and departing on Sunday 6 August, if possible. Organisers recommend exploring alternative travel options or working around the disrupted train timetable to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience for all attendees.
Despite the challenges posed by the overtime ban, Pride events, including the Community Parade, the official FABULOSO Pride fundraiser in Preston Park, and the Pride Village Party, are set to proceed as planned on Saturday 5 August. Sunday’s lineup will also continue without any changes.
For more information on travel alternatives and updates, visit the official Brighton & Hove Pride website at Brighton-Pride.org/travel.
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