Passengers looking to travel between London and Gatwick airport by rail over the New Year period, are being forced to either use bus replacement services or find alternative modes of transport.
A combination of planned engineering works, and a landslip caused by recent adverse weather conditions, means that there are currently no rail services serving the airport until at least January 2.
Southern – which also runs the Gatwick Express franchise – had already announced a revised service over the Christmas and New Year period, as a result of works including the creation of a new platform at Gatwick airport. This meant passengers having to travel to East Grinstead and pick up a bus replacement service.
The situation has been exacerbated by a landslip at Ockley near Dorking, resulting in rail services between Horsham and Dorking also being subject to bus replacements, with passengers travelling between the South Coast and Gatwick airport / London being advised to travel via Three Bridges.
At present Network Rail has not given an indication on how long it will take to repair the landslip, saying only that it is “assessing the damage”. Southern’s website says that “This will not be a quick repair and we are working with Network Rail to determine what service we can provide in the meantime”.
Gatwick’s website warns that “Replacement bus services and diversions could add up to two hours to journey times, so we’re advising passengers to plan their route carefully, check before they travel and allow extra time to get to the airport”.