Capital rail link needs improving

ON Friday (February 21), as I occasionally do, I had to travel to London on business.

Ordinarily I take the train from St Leonards Warrior Square, a journey which, when leaving the station at about 7am, routinely takes two hours. On Friday given the current disruptions, I elected to drive to Tonbridge and catch the train to Charing Cross from there.

My total journey time? 90 minutes! If this doesn’t say all that needs to be said about our shamefully poor rail links I have difficulty imagining what would top it. In combination with the A21 this is essentially what is keeping Hastings in near permanent recession when compared to the rest of the south east.

I have lived and worked in Hastings for nearly 18 years and enjoyed every minute of it. In my opinion we have more to offer in terms of culture, history, entertainment and (potential) quality of life than any of our neighbouring towns. Tragically, however, that potential will never be fulfilled until our connections to London and the rest of the country are radically improved.

A safe, predominantly dual carriage A21, a reliable journey time to London by train of, say, 75 minutes (it’s only 65 miles for goodness sake) and a effective means of bypassing heavier traffic around rather than through the town would in the medium to long-term transform the fortunes of Hastings and the surrounding area.

Clearly, I am aware that such infrastructural improvements would cost vast sums of money but, and if I may plunge into my handy bag of cliches for a moment, all journeys start with a single step and Rome wasn’t...well you know the rest.

So come on Ms Rudd no more prevarication. These things need to be done and they need to be started now.

DR ANDREW STODDART

Tower Road West

St Leonards