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27 July 2023 (Brighton)

Plan your journey in advance and stay for longer over the Pride weekend


Brighton & Hove Pride is calling for a show of unity and support for the LGBTQ+ community during this year’s Pride weekend, 5 and 6 August.

It’s that time of year when our city comes alive with rainbow flags as we prepare for Pride weekend.

Concerns have been raised about the serious travel disruption to train services due to the overtime ban by rail workers. Commenting on GTR’s decision not to run any trains into Brighton station on Saturday 5 August, Paul Kemp, managing director of Pride, said: “We are deeply disappointed GTR has announced no trains will run to Brighton on the Saturday of Pride weekend cutting off Brighton & Hove from the rest of the UK rail network on such an important weekend for our city.”

Brighton & Hove Pride has been talking with ASLEF and GTR since the overtime ban was announced and the decision to run no trains at all is not a welcome outcome. The lack of trains on Saturday 5 August means everyone travelling to and from the city will need to make alternative travel plans or arrange to arrive on Friday. Train services will be running on Friday 4 and Sunday 6 August.

Paul added: “This will come as a huge shock for not only Pride and the LGBTQ+ community but all the businesses preparing to welcome guests to our city from across the UK and world. Many Pride visitors have already booked and paid for Saturday night accommodation locally, they will now have to change plans or find an alternative way to get into the city. It’s truly devastating news for everyone.

“Pride always supports the right to protest. Reducing cars on the roads and getting people back on the trains should be a priority to tackle the climate crisis.

“But we would like to be clear that we don’t agree with GTR’s decision, nor the reasons given for completely stopping train services and the potential of adverse knock-on effects. We’ve worked with GTR for many years. We have been impressed with how well they monitor passenger arrival numbers and can be ready to stop trains coming in, if their service is reaching a capacity level, to make sure people can leave safely again later on.

“Safety is always a priority. There are considerable extra resources to safely manage the area outside Brighton station, contributed to by Pride. We also have multi agency representatives working together throughout Pride weekend. This well-established multi agency approach monitors numbers of people coming into the city as part of a much wider ranging safety remit.

“We also note that an overtime ban still allows for a reduced service to operate, which is very different from the strike days. So it is very sad to see GTR put a complete service shutdown in place rather than finding a working alternative.

“We must however highlight the positive working relationships established between Pride and GTR over the last few years. We say thank you to and support all railway staff currently campaigning for better rights. And we sincerely hope this kind of action can be avoided in future for the good of all.”

The travel disruption comes at a time when Pride is more important than ever and making a stand with Pride is a show of solidarity.

Paul said: “The LGBTQ+ community is facing the threat of its hard fought for rights being eroded, while we are still a long way from equality. We ask people from near and far to stand up for our community and celebrate with us at Pride this summer.

“Brighton & Hove Pride is not-for-profit, with a significant effort put into raising funds for the Brighton Rainbow Fund though the official Pride events. The Fund financially supports numerous essential local LGBTQ+ charities and community organisations across Brighton & Hove. The effects of the GTR decision are far reaching for Pride and those who benefit all year round from the annual Pride fundraising activity.

A good way round the disruption to visitors on Pride weekend and to support the city, would be to arrive earlier on Friday 4 and leave on Sunday 6 if you are able to do so either by extending booked accommodation or staying with friends.

Travel options include working around the disrupted train timetable or finding alternative transport.

The Pride Community Parade, the official FABULOSO Pride fundraiser in Preston Park and the Pride Village Party will all be happening as planned on Saturday 5 August. Sunday’s lineup is also going ahead as planned.

Paul said: “Whatever way you choose to come here for Brighton & Hove Pride 2023, we wish everyone in our community, and our allies, a happy and safe Pride this summer.”

“On this the 50th anniversary of the first Brighton Gay Pride march, now is the time to come out and make our voices heard louder than ever.”

Up-to-date travel information is available on our travel page: