Pride partygoers crowd onto beach amid travel chaos

The crowds at Brighton station after Pride (Photograph: Eddie Mitchell)
The crowds at Brighton station after Pride (Photograph: Eddie Mitchell)

People unable to travel home from Pride ended up on the beach, with some sent to a ‘safe space’ at St Pauls Church in West Street.

In a statement published in the early hours of this morning, Brighton and Hove City Council said police reported queues at Brighton Station had ‘reduced dramatically’ and most people waiting to travel were able to do so, with train services due to resume at 4.30am.

But ‘dangerous’ overcrowding at the station may have moved to the seafront.

Many people ‘decided not to travel and went to the beach instead’, the council said.

It wrote: “The numbers were added to by others leaving the PVP (Pride Village Party) and also heading to the seafront.

“This led to overcrowding in some areas and an increase in calls to emergency services.

“We have been working with the ambulance service (SECAmb) and HM Coastguard to find a way to reduce the numbers of people on the beach for the safety of all.

“As part of our emergency planning role, the council was prepared to make the Brighton Centre available for the Pride event. The venue has been open for a few hours overnight and will be used by the coastguard and SECAamb as well as to provide support to people our partners have asked us to help.

“Reports that 4,000 Pride goers are currently at the Brighton Centre are untrue.

“While the Brighton Centre has capacity for many thousands of people, we have only received six people at the venue. We are not expecting the numbers to rise significantly from this point but we are ready to help further if needed.”

An update at 3.30am added that the council had decided to close the Brighton Centre as it was ‘more practical’ to provide support at the Safe Space in St Pauls Church, West Street.

It said it looked after a total of nine people at the Brighton Centre that night.