11.52am update, January 5: Owen M Hoy tells us in an email about his wife’s three hour journey from Uckfield to Westminster this morning. He says she could have flown to Malaga in Spain quicker and the service is a disgrace.
Mr Hoy says: I have just read your article below (ROAD WORKS AND RAIL DISRUPTION BRING UCKFIELD MISERY)
Roadworks and rail disruption bring Uckfield misery 8.40am update, January 5: Paul White has told us through our Facebook page that a rail replacement bus service missed a connection at Crowborough this morning and then the train he caught terminated at Oxted. He said there were so many passengers on the platform waiting that people struggled to get off the terminated train.
I’m not sure if this is the same train that my wife (Julie Hoy) caught earlier today but frankly the service is now even more appalling than usual.
My wife usually catches the 07.08 from Uckfield daily but this week we are having to get up even earlier to leave home here in Fernley Park in order for me to drive her at 06.20 to Uckfield Station to catch the replacement bus.
That is bad enough in itself but worse when you are suffering from a severe winter cold which my wife is at the moment.
However this morning Southern Rail hit the jackpot at Oxted when they terminated her train there due to so-called faulty lighting in one of the carriages despite the fact that the emergency lighting was in full operation. What type of people do Southern Rail employ as they certainly do not use their common sense and logic and why are they putting sub-standard trains into operation during this very bleak period?
My wife eventually arrived at her office in Westminster some three hours later, cold, wet and very tired. She could have flown to Malaga in Spain quicker. It is a complete and utter disgrace.
I really do not understand why replacement buses are not being put on to Haywards Heath as rail tickets are being honoured there and the journey to London would be so much quicker for Uckfield commuters. I raised this with the Uckfield Ticket Office operative earlier today but he got really argumentative and defensive of Southern Rail, blaming wait for it – the recent inclement weather !!! It is only rain. I just despair and feel for everyone caught up in this six week disruption.
8.40am update, January 5: Paul White has told us through our Facebook page that a rail replacement bus service missed a connection at Crowborough this morning and then the train he caught terminated at Oxted.
He said there were so many passengers on the platform waiting that people struggled to get off the terminated train.
Here is the photograph he sent us.
Wealden District Council member for Buxted and Maresfield, Cllr Michael Lunn, Conservative, has said on social media commuters are “mighty upset”.
8.15am update, January 5: BBC Sussex is reporting 30-minute delays getting into Lewes this morning.
Our original story
Roadworks and rail delays affected many Uckfield people returning to work yesterday (January 4) after the Christmas and new year holidays.
On the roads, southbound into Lewes was gridlocked while rail commuters were on the buses heading north to catch trains from Crowborough, writes our transport correspondent, Paul Watson.
The roadworks at Malling Hill/Church Lane junction, Lewes, have caused delays since Christmas but yesterday turned into a nightmare for many drivers.
Queues back to Isfield
Reports of traffic queued back to Isfield on the A26 were reported while others said they were hours late for work in Lewes or Brighton.
One bus user said the the 8.30am bus from Uckfield arrived at County Hall, Lewes, 90 minutes late.
UK Power Networks is carrying out emergency works which are expected to finish by the end of Thursday, January 7.
East Sussex Highways is liaising with the company to try and minimise delays.
No 29 buses terminating short
The 29 Brighton and Hove Buses service was also affected.
The company announced until further notice all service 28, 29, 29B and 29X were starting from and terminating at Lewes Road Bus Garage, Brighton, due to severe delays caused by the roadworks.
Passengers were advised to transfer at no extra charge to or from other services 24, 25, 25X, 48 or 49 between Lewes Road Bus Garage and Churchill Square, Brighton.
The jams were made worse because a usual diversion route through Barcombe to join the Chailey-Lewes road was flooded.
Works to install a Puffin Crossing at Malling Hill, which were due to begin on Wednesday, have been delayed.
Dismay over missed rail connections
Rail passengers yesterday faced the first day of six weeks with no trains.
A bus service has been installed to take passengers to and from Crowborough but there were reports that services had not connected with trains, which had departed without waiting for the bus passengers.
Visual evidence suggests that many commuters have chosen drive elsewhere, rather than take the rail replacement buses.
The new station car park was virtually empty and there appeared to be fewer cars parked on the side of the road on the Bellbrook Business Park.