Like most people who use train services from Haywards Heath and nearby stations, I have been incredibly frustrated by the poor service over recent years and the prospect of the closure of the line between Three Bridges and Brighton filled me with gloom.
Any hope that such disruption would go smoothly was not helped when passengers were handed bags of jelly babies to sweeten the pill last year when the extent of the closures was announced.
However, I think great credit is due to Network Rail for the way that the whole operation has been handled; lots more extra staff and all of them smiling and welcoming passengers, covered walkways erected, plenty of buses (some of which stuttered a little on the uphill A23 as they were obviously brought out of retirement), free coffee and a general air of helpfulness from very well trained staff.
I’m sure there were hiccups and certainly journeys took much longer but Network Rail must have put a great deal of thought into the whole operation and for once, seemed to consider the passengers.
Let’s just hope that all the work on the line means that things will get better from now on and that weekend buses will become a distant memory.