A passenger rail group has voiced its opposition to proposals to remove all Southeastern services from Ore from May 2020.
St Leonards and Hastings Rail Improvement (SHRIMP) said the plans were ‘very unwelcome’.
Martin Woodfine, from SHRIMP, part of East Sussex Rail Alliance, said: “The official footfall for this station increases year-on-year and the station serves an expanding area. Further the reasoning relies on the continuation and possible expansion of services by alternative operator Southern, whose franchise is running out.
Local campaign groups and area/town representatives are trying to get the extremely basic facilities at Ore station improved so the proposed withdrawal of services by a train operating company is very unhelpful. Indeed, it should be seeking to increase services, possibly by extending the Hastings to Charing Cross stopping services to Ore.”
In its consultation document, Southeastern said: “Ore station is currently served by both Southern and Southeastern. Three Southeastern services call at Ore station, during peak times when our network is exceptionally busy.
“Our analysis indicates that rolling stock could be better deployed elsewhere on the network to make use of this spare capacity and as a result we propose withdrawing the three Southeastern services which call at Ore, from the May 2020 timetable.”
These are the 06:16 Ore to Charing Cross, which will start from Hastings, the 06:40 Ore to Charing Cross, which will start from Hastings and the 18:26 Cannon Street to Ore, which will terminate at Hastings.
Southeastern added: “With the recent increase in Southern services from Ore, as well as connections to Highspeed services via Ashford, usage of services from Ore are extremely low on the three Southeastern services - less than 15 passengers on each of the 06:16 and 06:37 services between Ore and Hastings.
“In addition to this, the evening service from 18:26 from Cannon Street to Ore has extremely low usage - on average five passengers use this service between Hastings and Ore.
“Local feedback has indicated a strong interest in an earlier service from Ore towards Eastbourne and, as a result, Southern have agreed to start the 06:10 Hastings to Victoria service from Ore at 06:06, providing an earlier service for Ore users.
“Southern will continue to serve Ore and users will be able to connect to Southeastern services at Hastings. Faster connections to London (32 minutes quicker) will remain available for Ore users via Ashford.”
The consultation period closes on Monday, September 9.