FRUSTRATED commuters say they are fed up with rail replacement buses,writes Carly-May Kavanagh.

The alternative transport arrangements have been laid on while Brighton Main Line is shut for repairs this week.

It means there are no direct trains between Three Bridges and Brighton or Lewes until Sunday.

Simon Copeland, from Hove, said the buses were adding four hours to his daily commute.

He added: “What we seem to have is a rather curious rigmarole where the buses stop at every station between Brighton and Three Bridges.

“The alternative is getting a train to Victoria via Littlehampton, but that would take two-and-a-half hours.

“National Rail didn’t tell anyone about the lack of direct buses so it came as a bit of a shock.”

Edward Johnson, who travels from Haywards Heath to Brighton, described bus journeys as “longer” and “more uncomfortable”.

He said: “The buses are stopping at every stop which is frustrating as it’s not direct and it sends us round the houses.

“There’s litter everywhere on the bus. I get on it early so you don’t expect it to build up. It’s quite disgusting.”

The 30-year-old says he has to get up earlier to get to work on time.

He added: “The bus yesterday took the wrong route and had to turn around.

“The driver was very embarrassed, but I’ve taken the wrong turning before so it amused me.”

While some are braving the bus replacement services, others are working from home,

Xavier Voigt-Hill, from Scaynes Hill, works as a cricket analyst for Sussex County Cricket Club and says the rail work will affect him as it continues this year on weekends.

He said: “My work is very much reliant on being in a cricket ground so I can’t do it remotely.

“It will just be a case of setting out an hour or two earlier on those days.

“I’d rather have the nine-day period as it is if that will prevent more regular significant delays but it’s a bit of a pain.

“I don’t have to rely on that line every day, we’ve had so much disruption on that line through strike action and unreliability from Southern – at least in this situation it seems communication is clear and as long as buses are running on time it should be fine.

“A week’s closure plus a few weekends here and there is not a big price to pay.”

The train work does not just affect those working in Brighton and Hove, but also those with previous engagements outside the city.

For others, the train work has meant a boost in business – Lucy Clifford, who lives in Kemptown, owns Moggy Meows Cat Sitting.

She said: “People have chosen to stay in London and not commute so we look after their cats, or if they’re late back we give them dinner because of the delays.

“We’ve definitely had more bookings this week than usual, despite it being half term.”

Some commuters are choosing to stay overnight in Brighton so they can get to work like Tommy Simpson, 30, who is the assistant manager of a Brighton restaurant, lives in central London.

He said the service is running “a lot better” than he thought it would be.

The work by Network Rail will continue until May as they renew and upgrade track junctions and signalling, and repair sources of leaks and drainage issues in four Victorian tunnels which are often the cause for major delays.

Train bosses have explained why they have not put on direct bus services here.