Two of Brighton’s most iconic drag queens have recorded special station announcements ahead of the Brighton Pride event.
The announcements from Stephen Richards and Jason Sutton – better known as Lola Lasagne and Miss Jason – started today (Monday 1 August) and act as a reminder that the event is taking place as well as encouraging people to check before they travel and plan their journeys carefully.
On Saturday night in particular, there will be specific messages about the rainbow queueing system at the station to help those leaving the event find the right queue for their journey.
Ryan Massen, Southern Station Manager at Brighton and part of GTR’s Pride-planning team, said: “Brighton and Hove Pride is an event we look forward to every year at GTR and we can’t wait to welcome it back to the city next weekend. We’re doing lots to help people travel safely by train and we thought, ‘What better way to spread our travel messages this year than with the help of two well-known and much-loved drag performers?’
“If you’re waiting for a train in the southern part of our network, then listen closely to station announcements as you may just hear a voice you recognise! Lola Lasagne and Miss Jason have been fabulous to work with and we can’t wait to see them at the event.”
GTR has confirmed it will be running an enhanced service across Southern, Gatwick Express and Thameslink over Pride weekend, with extra staff at Brighton station to help festivalgoers travel safely.
The operator is also bringing back the colour-coded queueing system introduced in 2019. Customers wishing to travel on the Brighton Main Line towards London will be instructed to follow the blue queue, those who need to use the West Coastway should use the purple queue and people who live on the East Coastway can follow the green queue.
Stephen Richards, who performs as Lola Lasagne, commented: “I regularly travel through Brighton station, so the chance to record my own PA announcements was too exciting to turn down! People from all over the UK travel to Brighton for Pride weekend and these messages help to welcome everyone to our glorious hometown.”
Jason Sutton, who performs as Miss Jason, added: “Well you know us drag queens – never ones to turn down an opportunity to get on the mic! It was so much fun running riot at Brighton station for the day and recording our own announcements. Huge thanks to GTR for letting us do our thing and for all their help in getting people to and from Pride.”
:: On the Brighton Main Line on Saturday 6 August, all Thameslink services between London Bridge and Brighton will be operated with 12-carriage trains.
:: This will be the same for all Gatwick Express services running between London Victoria and Brighton.
:: Additional trains will run late into Saturday evening from Brighton into London on the Brighton Main Line.
:: On the West Coastway, services that would normally run between Brighton, Portsmouth and Southampton will instead terminate at Chichester. The revised service helps to focus capacity on areas where demand will be greatest. Those wishing to travel to Southampton and Portsmouth will be able to board onwards connections at Chichester.
:: On the East Coastway, many services will be running with additional carriages throughout the day on Saturday to increase capacity in and out of Brighton.
:: On Saturday, Preston Park and London Road (Brighton) stations will be closed all day to help manage crowds.
:: On Sunday, with smaller crowds expected, there will be a regular timetable in place but trains will be running with extra carriages to increase capacity.
:: Preston Park station will remain closed on Sunday.
Colour-coded queue details:
:: The green queue will lead to trains on the East Coastway for stations towards Lewes, Seaford and Eastbourne.
:: The purple queue will be for West Coastway services for stations towards Shoreham-by-Sea, Worthing and Chichester.
:: The blue queue will be for trains on the Brighton Main Line heading up to Haywards Heath, Gatwick Airport and London.