New hope over return of trains’ tea trolleys as councillor adds his criticism

THE leader of the council is demanding to know why train passengers are being left hungry and thirsty on journeys up to London.

Southeastern Trains has withdrawn the catering trolleys on the Hastings to Charing Cross service, much to the dismay of Cllr Jeremy Birch, leader of Hastings Borough Council. Amid continuing grumbles over the slow service up to London and the hike in rail fares, Cllr Birch wants to know why passengers are getting such a raw deal.

He said: “I was very disappointed to learn that Southeastern had withdrawn the catering service from ‘our’ trains. Whilst I may accept that the days of the buffet car have now gone, this further reduction in the quality of the train journey is something I feel very strongly about.

“I note that other trains operated by Southeastern continue to have an at-seat catering service, and I have to wonder just what it is that the southeastern management has against travellers using the Hastings line?”

He has written to the train company demanding an explanation of what he calls the “unacceptable” decision.

The withdrawal of the service could mean the loss of up to 20 jobs. A spokesman for Southeastern said the trolley service was not “commercially viable” to keep up but he added: ““We have been working closely with the local MP Amber Rudd to find an alternative and have invited the local Hastings Railways Trolley Cooperative, who have submitted a proposal, to meet us for an informal discussion.”