Rail summit set for Spring meet

THE SECRETARY of State for Transport has agreed to attend a summit with MP Amber Rudd to discuss the demise or rail services in 1066 Country.

Patrick McLoughlin MP will be joined by representatives from train operators Southeastern and Southern Trains, the track operator Network Rail, county councillors and local rail groups.

The event is earmarked to take place on March 31 at a venue in Hastings to be decided.

Ms Rudd said: “I am looking for the Secretary’s support to implement a vision for rail transport for the 21st century. We’ve had enough of “make do and mend” and need a fresh look and commitment for a comprehensive upgrade of the rail provision in our area,”

“Our rail lines are inferior to our neighbours, east and west. This is holding back our economic growth.

“So I am looking for a transformative change to our rail travel to end years of neglect and inadequate levels of investment.

“We must have more capacity and abilty to move to work and play, to attract new employers and new development.

“Transport improvements for Hastings has had virtually no rail improvements over the last 20 and now the country is benefiting from a massive investment programme in rail.

“I would very much like to see our local railways included in this programme as they have been passed over for too long. My goal is to get the London journey time down to 66 minutes by extending ‘Javelin’ services to Hastings via an electrified and upgraded Marshlink Line. I want to see a major upgrade in the Hastings-Tonbridge route. And we must have a reconstruction of the Eastern Coastal route to connect Brighton to Hastings.”