Here is an extract from a notice from Paul Codd of Southern Railway concerning changes to timetable from December 13th
“As a result, the plan for the next timetable is to leave the total number of services across the week day as pretty much flat to protect reliability for our customers.
We know that it is a resilient timetable and provides more than enough passenger space given the low numbers of people travelling, so feels like the right approach under the circumstances. As you know, our priority is ensuring that as far as possible, people can rely on their timetabled services.
We are however providing an earlier weekday start on the coastal routes to/from Brighton and additional Saturday services between Brighton and Lewes and Brighton and West Worthing.
We have provided a wider briefing, but one thing to highlight in case people query it with you, is that there is a reduction in the number of direct trains per hour (from half-hourly to hourly) between Preston Park and London Victoria for three hours in the middle of the weekday and a change on the Seaford to Brighton route – these trains are being removed from the entire network (as opposed to “stops removed”) to give us greater resilience for busier services and to tailor services to customer demand.
In the Preston Park example, between 11:15 and 13:15 from London, in addition to the three direct Southern services (11:15, 12:15, 13:15) there will be the option of a change at Haywards Heath (e.g. leaving London Victoria 11:29), but this does take four minutes longer than the direct train.
We are making a similar change on the Brighton to Seaford route, removing the 10:11, 11:41 and 15:41 departures from Brighton and their return workings from Seaford at 10:53, 12:25 and 16:25. During these hours, the Seaford service will be hourly, before returning to half-hourly.”