Festivalgoers attending Brighton Pride will face travel chaos with all rail services to the city set to be suspended.

All services south of Three Bridges will now be cancelled next Saturday - coinciding with the first day of Pride festivities.

The cancellation will cause significant disruption for those hoping to attend the Pride parade through Brighton and Hove and the headline performance from Black Eyed Peas in Preston Park.

The Argus understands that crisis meetings were taking place this week with Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) and Pride organisers, with the rail operator pointing the blame for the disruption at an overtime ban by train drivers’ union Aslef.

Lloyd Russell-Moyle, MP for Brighton Kemptown, has started a petition calling on GTR to collaborate with the rail union to allow trains to operate as planned.

The Argus: GTR have pinned the blame for the cancellation on an overtime ban by AslefGTR have pinned the blame for the cancellation on an overtime ban by Aslef (Image: Govia Thameslink Railway)

He said: “There may be disruption, but the event would still be able to take place.

“I have spoken with Aslef, and they have said it would be possible to implement a shift pattern that could accommodation Brighton Pride."

Mr Russell-Moyle has also asked the government “not approve this blockade of our city” and to step in if the dispute cannot be resolved.

People can sign the petition at www.megaphone.org.uk/petitions/save-brighton-pride-from-govia-thameslink-railway.

Brighton Pavilion MP Caroline Lucas urged GTR to get around the table with Aslef to resolve the dispute and prevent disruption to Pride.

She said: "This is devastating news for the city. Pride is one of the highlights of the local calendar for the LGBTQ+ community, and such an important day for so many small businesses in Brighton that have already been through an incredibly difficult few years.

"It is hugely disappointing that it has come to this, and blame lies firmly at the door of the government.

"Over recent days, I have been in contact with the train company and Pride directly to try and find a route through.

"I urge ministers to get train companies back round the table with Aslef to find an urgent solution."

Peter Kyle, MP for Hove, described the cancellation as "nothing short of a serious problem".

He said: "I have had high-level meetings this week with the boss of GTR where I've made my concerns known and begged them to move heaven and earth to find solutions.

"I'm hugely concerned about safety implications if a full service cannot run, and I know Pride organisers are working extra hard to find solutions too."

A spokesman for Brighton Pride said they are awaiting confirmation of the details of the disruption and said: "As the city's main LGBTQ+ fundraising event, there are multiple local charity and community organisations who rely on the Brighton and Hove Pride weekend and for whom this news will be devastating."

Govia Thameslink Railway has been approached for comment.