CONDUCTORS have warned passengers not to crowd on to trains this weekend amid fears about unofficial Pride celebrations.

Official Brighton Pride events set to begin tomorrow were cancelled in April due to the coronavirus pandemic.

But as fears grow of unofficial celebrations taking place, the RMT transport workers’ union has urged people not to crowd on to trains to Brighton this weekend.

Senior assistant general secretary Mick Lynch warned any unofficial events could lead to a “surge” of passengers, making social distancing on trains difficult.

>>READ MORE: Brighton Pride cancelled due to coronavirus pandemic

“The RMT has a strong history of supporting Brighton Pride and the organisers took the correct decision to postpone it this year in light of the Covid pandemic to ensure everyone’s safety,” he said.

“However, we have been made aware unofficial events have been organised this weekend which, combined with other attractions on a summer Saturday, could lead to a surge of passengers that compromises social distancing and safety measures.

The Argus: The RMT union warned staff and passengers could be put at risk if trains are crowded this weekendThe RMT union warned staff and passengers could be put at risk if trains are crowded this weekend

“It’s important that is not allowed to happen.

“Concerns have been raised by RMT members and we would expect both the train company, GTR and the travelling public to take those concerns seriously and avoid placing either staff or the public at risk amongst growing reports of Covid-19 cases rising.”

Southern Railway echoed the union’s calls, saying trains were expected to be “extremely busy” this weekend.

Customer services director Chris Fowler said queueing systems will be in place at stations.

“With social distancing measures in place due to Covid-19, capacity on rail services is currently significantly reduced so we cannot carry as many passengers as usual,” he said.

“This means that services to and from Brighton will be extremely busy over this weekend.

“Queueing systems will be in place and customers must wear face coverings, in line with Government guidelines.

The Argus: Rail bosses say trains are expected to be 'extremely busy' this weekendRail bosses say trains are expected to be 'extremely busy' this weekend

“With no official events taking place in the city due to Covid-19 we are encouraging people to join the digital Brighton Pride festival, We Are Fabuloso, from home.”

Earlier this week Brighton and Hove City Council and Brighton Pride organisers said unofficial events were “not welcome or allowed”.

“Large, unplanned and unauthorised gatherings are banned during the pandemic,” a council spokesman said.

“To prevent the spread of the virus, people are being urged to avoid mingling in groups from many different households.”

Instead celebrations will take place safely online, broadcast from a purpose-built studio in Brighton. To take part in the fun, visit

  • The coronavirus Sussex Crisis Fund has been set up to help those affected by the pandemic. The Argus’s charity and American Express have each donated £50,000 to kick-start the appeal. Grants will usually be for up to £5,000. More information is available at www.sussexgiving. To donate visit