Passenger power has derailed plans to cut train services along the Sussex coast.

Rail company Southern has decided to scrap proposed changes which would have seen the end of the direct seven-day Brighton to Ashford International service after a campaign from pressure groups.

East Sussex Rail Alliance (ESRA), which represents passenger groups across the county, has welcomed the move.

The organisation had campaigned against the changes to the East Coastway line which would have forced disabled passengers to change at Hampden Park or face long connection times at Eastbourne.

Southern received 164 responses following the consultation and admitted that it could not prove the changes would make “a significant overall net benefit” to passengers.

Despite the news, ESRA criticised Southern's decision to use older trains - suburban Class 313 - on the Brighton to Lewes and Seaford service.

Many of the carriages, which do not have toilets or air-conditioning, will not be refurbished until later this year.