Sussex

Brighton and Hove Pride: More trains to avoid post-Kylie crush

@JordonLee Image copyright @JordonLee
Image caption People reported being crushed and passing out after being locked out of Brighton station last year

Train company managers are confident of avoiding a repeat of last year's chaos at Brighton railway station during this summer's Pride event.

Thousands of revellers were left stranded after the Saturday night Britney Spears concert last August when the station was closed.

Some spent the night on the beach and others reported incidents of crushing in "scary" scenes near the entrance.

Govia Thameslink plans more trains and a better queuing system this year.

Kylie Minogue is the headline act at the event at Preston Park, from 2-4 August, and similar numbers to the estimated 57,000 that attended the Britney Spears event are expected.

GTR pointed the finger at police for last year's chaotic scenes, saying it had extra trains available but that police needed to marshal the gathering crowds.

Image copyright Robin Pembroke
Image caption The barriers at the station were padlocked

However, after talks with Sussex Police, Brighton and Hove City Council and Brighton and Hove Pride organisers, GTR has announced plans to beef up services this summer to cope with the considerable demands.

GTR is reluctant to reveal details of all the extra trains - most of which will be at least two carriages longer than normal - but according to National Rail Enquiries, services to London are listed right through the Saturday night and into the normal Sunday timetable.

A spokesman said: "We have additional trains late into the night from Brighton which will provide capacity for 10,000 extra passengers into London after 22:30.

"All our London trains except one will be full-length, 12-carriage services (normally many are eight-to-10 carriages long)."

There will also be a better queuing system from the venue to the station, but the spokesman said the waits should be shorter because of the extra trains.

Brighton and Hove Pride boss Paul Kemp, who criticised last year's transport planning, welcomed GTR's announcement, saying organisers were "extremely heartened by the positive working partnership and support".

More than 450,000 people attended last year's Pride weekend.

Image copyright Stefan Grebosz
Image caption Stefan Grebosz photographed the crowds outside the station and an empty train into London

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