We are concerned that, yet again, rail commuters living in Brighton and Hove are bearing the brunt of the rail companies' inept handling of on-going refurbishment work.

Recently, we experienced first-hand the cramped, standing-only trains which leave Brighton for London every morning.

This is the result of rail operator South Central closing depots normally used for servicing and cleaning carriages while it modernises them.

This has led to a knock-on reduction in the number of carriages that are serviced and available for use.

People who depend on the trains to go to work are facing arduous journeys and many are having to stand from Preston Park station and sometimes from Brighton station.

South Central's explanation is the shortage of carriages is due to a "lack of rolling stock".

To commuters, that's an obvious statement - South Central managers are trying to sooth passengers with meaningless phrases.

Do they understand what it's like to pay for an expensive ticket and to stand for more than an hour travelling to work?

While the rail companies have their own complaints procedures, we believe commuters should increase the political pressure on the Government so it will be forced to take action to remedy poor performance and to invest in the network.

One option is to write to your MP to ask them to take up the matter with ministers who are obliged to reply.

-Councillor Richard Mallender, Councillor Simon Williams, Brighton and Hove City Council