Creating an environment in Hastings that is supportive of job creation is an effective way of securing the future of our local and regional economy.
However, it is important to recognise that the economic growth in Hastings at this time owes a great deal to the movement of professional and creative people here from London, Brighton and other locations.
The quality of life in Hastings makes such a move worthwhile, despite the fact that, for most such people, including myself, it is necessary to travel to London on a fairly frequent basis in order to make ends meet.
From observation, my estimation is that several hundred people from Hastings every day travel to London as part of their work.
The train journey is, for most, not time wasted as they can, using their computers or tablets, get a lot of work done while travelling. This is particularly true if they travel to St Pancras or to Victoria.
For those of us who travel to Charing Cross, things are not so good.
There are seven separate intervals on that journey when all Internet connection is lost, disrupting connections and making productive use of travelling time impossible.
This represents several thousands of pounds every day in lost efficiency for those very people who have done so much to bring new economic vigour to our local economy.
The wealth they ‘import’ from London helps to create jobs and increases the local tax base. We should support them.
If we had broadband on the commuter trains it would make a huge difference to the economic efficiency of a large number of Hastings residents. Network Southeast rail has no competitors so is unlikely to invest in providing a broadband service, (though many other railway companies do).
It would make sense for Hastings, perhaps along with Battle and other towns up to and including Tunbridge Wells, to provide broadband on our train service and thereby do a great deal to enhance our local economy.
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