THE PROPOSED Glyne Gap station has been shunted into the sidings for now but campaigners are hoping that it will be given the green light in the not too distant future.
The 70-page final report on the proposal, commissioned by East Sussex County Council (ESCC), Rother District Council (RDC), and Land Securities Group PLC was carried out by Mott MacDonald.
The aim of the report was to build on earlier studies (in 2000, 2002 and 2004) which suggested there might be a case for a the provision of a station at this location.
A spokesman for Bexhill Rail Action Group (BRAG) said whilst its a shame that the station won’t go ahead, the group is hopeful it will be back on track before too long. “BRAG’s response is that we are disappointed with the survey’s conclusion, but understand the reasoning behind it. It would seem that ‘the ducks are not all lined up’ at this time.”
The report indicates that there will not be enough demand for a station at Glyne Gap, but some local residents disagree.
Simon, lives close to Glyne Gap, he said: “With the new M&S opening at Ravenside I’d have thought there would have been plenty of demand for a station here. It would be ideal for us because both Bexhill and Warrior Square stations are not easy for us to get to. It doesn’t make sense that they turned it down because trains stop at Collington and there can’t be that many people who use that station.”
BRAG said they believe that a station at Glyne Gap could be viable in the future if there is increased demand from North Bexhill, alongside proposals for a proper transport interchange for East Bexhill and West St Leonards, which would not be at the expense of Bexhill station, adding: “The report rejects the option of making a Glyne Gap interchange the main station for the town and downgrading Bexhill Central station.”
David Marlow, Planning Strategy and Environment Manager at Rother District Council, said: “Working in partnership, Rother District Council, East Sussex County Council and Land Securities Group PLC, commissioned studies in order to try and demonstrate to Network Rail an operational, technical and financial case for an additional stop at Glyne Gap.
“Regrettably, these studies showed that the benefits were outweighed by the costs of the scheme and that likely passenger numbers would not be sufficient to warrant an additional stop on the line.
“Our consultants concluded that the cost: benefit ratio it would offer is simply too low to justify the partners or Network Rail progressing it further.
“We now need to turn our attention, with county council colleagues, to other ways of improving travel choice and transport facilities to serve Bexhill.”
• To view the report see: www.rother.gov.uk/media/pdf/h/1/Proposed_New_Pas senger_Station_at_Glyne_Gap_Bexhill_Final_Report.pdf