THE town’s MP has thrown her weight behind a campaign to save a heavily used commuter service to the capital from being withdrawn.
Hastings MP Amber Rudd met with passengers and other rail users on Saturday (January 11) to launch a petition for the Save the 06.39 campaign.
The 06.39 train currently runs from Ore to Cannon Street station but Southeastern, which operates the service, wants to divert the route from January next year to London Charing Cross.
Last week council leader Jeremy Birch announced his objection to the firm’s proposal. He regularly uses the 06.39 Cannon Street service to attend meetings in Essex, using nearby Fenchurch Street station.
Ms Rudd said: “We must save this service and make sure it continues to Cannon Street. So many commuters from Hastings use this train to get to the heart of the City of London. I am disappointed that Southeastern is looking at diverting this service to Charing Cross, and I’m campaigning to push the Department for Transport and Southeastern to work together and find a solution to their concerns that doesn’t see a change to the 06.39 service.”
Ray Chapman, chairman of East Sussex Rail Alliance (ESRA), said: “The support from numerous MPs shows just how important this service is to residents. With it being one of only three morning services that terminate at Cannon Street, and at the more popular time of 08.30, it seems unwise to be suggesting that this service is diverted to Charing Cross with no stop at London Bridge.”
To sign the petition go to www.amberrudd.co.uk/cannon before Friday, February 7.
Mike Gibson, spokesman for Southeastern, said: “As a result of the Thameslink construction work, from January 2015 the seven lines through London Bridge will reduce to four, and platforms 4, 5 and 6 at there will close until the end of August 2016. “Therefore Charing Cross services will not be able to stop at London Bridge during this period. Only Cannon Street trains will be able to stop at London Bridge. Cannon Street already operates at full capacity during the peak and therefore other trains which operate to that station must be diverted to Charing Cross.”