Train trouble discussed by MPs

THE plight of passengers travelling on the Hastings to London Charing Cross line has been discussed in the House of Commons.

The line has suffered a number of landslips, closing the stretch between Battle and Wadhurst until next month.

The issue was raised by Labour’s Rail Minister, Lilian Greenwood MP, in the House of Commons on February 12.

The Shadow Rail Minister was contacted by Labour’s General Election candidate Sarah Owen.

Ms Greenwood told the House: “Landslips are causing misery for commuters in Hastings, as the line to Tonbridge has also faced closures.

“The Minister should explain what assessment Network Rail has made of the stability of trackside banks along this route, and whether more maintenance work should have been done to secure them.”

She added: “But even when closures are inevitable, passengers should expect clear information and decent alternative rail or bus replacement services. Unfortunately this does not seem to have happened in this case. As one passenger told the Rye and Battle Observer: ‘As a regular commuter I am used to disruption but this is the worst I’ve ever seen in 27 years of commuting.’

“Another passenger said that the operator was ‘not talking with the bus company. There are scenes of chaos.’

“The operator has advised passengers to make use of its ‘delay repay’ scheme, but Sarah Owen, Labour’s candidate for Hastings and Rye, has been contacted by passengers who have not received a prompt reply when they contacted the company.”