02 MAY 2017

Greg backs rural train services

Greg has written to the Secretary of State for Transport in support of services from rural stations, after a question in the consultation on the South Eastern franchise led to concerns of reduced services from stations in between Ashford and Tonbridge.

The question reads: 'How far do you support, or oppose, reducing railway journey times to key destinations in Kent and East Sussex by reducing stops at less well used intermediate stations to create hourly fast services?'

Greg said:

"It is important to recognise that no proposal for change has been made, and that the consultation is a broad exercise seeking views on the terms of the new South Eastern franchise. However, the stations between Ashford and Tonbridge are well-used and serve vital rural areas, and I would certainly be opposed to any reduction from their current level of service.

"In addition, it is already possible to travel from Ashford to London in under 40 minutes via High Speed 1, so there is simply no reason to disrupt the service on the Ashford to Tonbridge line. And as constituents who got in touch with me have also pointed out, reducing services from these stations would have the knock-on effect of driving commuter traffic to other towns which don't have the parking infrastructure to support it.

"Therefore, though I am already submitting a formal response to the Department for Transport's consultation, I have also written to the Secretary of State to make clear my views and those of my constituents on this specific issue."

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