TRAIN bosses will continue to use a new queuing system at Brighton Station on match days – despite leaving Albion fans struggling to get to the ground for the kick-off of the first home game of the season.
In response to more supporters going to the American Express Community Stadium, Southern Rail trialled a new system at Brighton station on Saturday.
A spokesman apologised to fans but said the company would continue with the new system – starting with tonight’s Capital One Cup tie against Cheltenham.
The Southern spokesman said that last season football fans were sectioned off from other customers by using a long line of crowd control barriers so Amex-bound passengers could make it to their trains easily.
This year, because of the increase in the number of football fans travelling by train, staff created a zig-zag queue with crowd barriers.
Fans were left scattered throughout the station and there reports of trains being sent half-full and supporters being locked in carriages.
The spokesman said the security firm was not used to the layout and how the barriers were to be deployed. As the queues built, they reverted to their old system – which only exacerbated the problem.
He said: “We would like to apologise to fans who had to wait for longer than usual at Brighton to get on to a train for the match at Falmer.
“Unfortunately, there was a problem with the installation of the new queuing system we have introduced which meant we had to revert to the old system. We are reviewing what happened with a view to ensuring the new system is installed without any further problems.”
Both Albion and Wednesday fans got caught up in the chaos with many taking to social media to vent their frustration.
Brétt Mendöza, an Albion regular, tweeted: “Brighton station heaving with #bhafc and #swfc fans. Trains being sent to Falmer half empty. This hasn’t been thought through very well.”
Simon Stoddart said: “Great stadium and great to see Albion settled after years of hassle – but transport remains a major problem.”