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Last updated: 07:31

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Seaford blockade

Buses will replace trains for 10 days between Lewes and Seaford

Saturday 18 to Monday 27 August 2018

There will be no trains all day at the following stations:

  • Southease
  • Newhaven Town
  • Newhaven Harbour
  • Bishopstone
  • Seaford

Replacement buses will serve these stations. The bus journey between Seaford and Lewes will take approximately 30 minutes (traffic permitting), however if you are planning to connect with train services at Lewes, we recommend you allow an extra 40 minutes to make your journey. Buses will operate every 15 minutes (every 10 minutes at peak times) and call at all stations. Buses will connect into train services at Lewes for onward travel to other destinations. There will also be a reduced train service between Lewes and Brighton.

Southern and Network Rail are very sorry for the disruption to your journey while this work to upgrade signalling equipment takes place. The time required to undertake this task means that it is not possible to confine the work to weekends.

Further information

Details of these alterations may not yet be reflected in the journey planners for all dates. PDFs showing the bus service on all dates are shown below.

 Seaford – Lewes bus times Saturday 18 August 2018

 Seaford – Lewes bus times Sunday 19 August 2018

 Seaford – Lewes bus times Monday 20 to Friday 24 August 2018

 Seaford – Lewes bus times Saturday 25 August 2018

 Seaford – Lewes bus times Sunday 26 August 2018

 Seaford – Lewes bus times Bank Holiday Monday 27 August 2018

Replacement buses will stop at the locations indicated here:



Newhaven Town

Newhaven Harbour



If you require assistance for your journey, please contact our assisted travel team 12 hours ahead of travel - ideally the day before.

What is the impact on train services?

Buses will replace trains between Lewes and Seaford for 10 days from Saturday 18 to Bank Holiday Monday 27 August 2018 inclusive. They will connect with trains at Lewes. There will be fewer trains than normal between Brighton and Lewes.

How often will buses run?

Buses will operate every 15 minutes (every 10 minutes in the peak) and call at all stations between Seaford and Lewes.

Where will buses stop?

Buses will stop as close to stations as practicable.

Will journey times be longer?

Yes. The bus journey between Seaford and Lewes will take approximately 30 minutes (traffic permitting), however if you are planning to connect with train services at Lewes, we recommend you allow an extra 40 minutes to make your journey. Full details will be available via the journey planner once the timetable is uploaded.

When will revised train and bus times be available?

Journey Planning systems are expected to be updated as soon as possible.

Will the Eastbourne Air Show traffic delay buses?

Very likely. The Air Show is taking place from 16 to 19 August so on the 18 and 19 August, local roads are likely to be very busy, especially in the mornings. Passengers travelling on those mornings are advised to allow plenty of time for their journeys.

I take a cycle with me on the train. Will I still be able to?

We’re sorry, but we cannot guarantee that vehicles will be able to carry unfolded cycles. Cycle storage is available at many stations.

I’ve got flights booked – will it affect my journey to the airport?

We’d strongly advise you check your journey nearer the time when full timetables are available. You will need to allow extra time.

I require assistance on my journey. What do I need to do?

Our normal arrangements apply. When travelling on Southern, Thameslink, Gatwick Express or Great Northern services only we recommend contacting our assisted travel service 12 hours in advance - ideally the day before. If your journey includes travel elsewhere on the National Rail network please give 24 hours’ notice. This gives us time to make the right arrangements and make your journey as smooth as possible.

Will there be any changes to ticket availability?

Ticket validity and restrictions will remain the same as normal.

Will tickets be valid on any local bus services?

Rail tickets will be accepted on replacement buses between Seaford and Lewes and you will have to purchase a separate ticket to travel on local bus services.

What compensation will be available?

Compensation is not available for the days affected by line closures. Passengers will be provided with alternatives to complete their journeys, including rail replacement bus services and advised on the amended journeys in advance.

What work is going to be carried out?

Network Rail engineers will be working to replace all signalling equipment between Lewes and Seaford with new, more reliable technology as part of a £20m signalling upgrade. The signal boxes at Lewes, Newhaven Town and Newhaven Harbour will be closed, with control of the signalling in the area transferred to Network Rail’s state-of-the-art Route Operating Centre (ROC) at Three Bridges.

Is there any other work taking place?

Please check the engineering works closer to the day of travel for the latest information on other alterations.

To maximise use of the access over August, Network Rail will undertake additional work to improve the resilience of the railway during the closures, including maintenance of the power supply systems, drainage work, boundary inspections and repairs, as well as track repair. This will help avoid future closures of the line for maintenance work.

What will the benefits of the work be?

The work being carried out around Lewes is part of the plan to provide a better, more reliable railway for passengers. The new signalling equipment will be far less likely to fail.

The improvements will allow triple the number of trains to use the line via Lewes as a diversionary route between Brighton and Haywards Heath when the main line is closed.

Newhaven Marine sidings will also be upgraded to support a potential freight connection in the future.

There has been a lot of disruption recently. Why is this work needed now?

The decision to proceed with this long-planned engineering work has not been taken lightly. A review of all engineering work on the network was undertaken following the May timetable change and where possible work has been re-planned or rescheduled. For instance, we have re-planned work on the Brighton Main Line as part of the £300m improvement programme, cancelling the 9-day blockade in October 2018.

We have explored other approaches to the Lewes area work, but after careful consideration, we have decided to proceed with the work as originally planned.

Why have we not warned passengers earlier?

Unfortunately the time taken to review the work and alternative options means that we are now communicating with passengers later than we normally would.

Can I park my car at a different station for free?

I you have a monthly, quarterly or annual car park season ticket for Seaford station car park, you may use it at Lewes station car park between 18 and 27 August (subject to space being available). All other customers wishing to park at Lewes (or other Southern stations) must pay to do so as usual.