Is it any wonder this area is, still, generally deprived economically?
I have read the feature about the proposal by GTR to replace the though Brighton-Ashford service with two separate ones, entailing changes at Eastbourne or Hastings.
As any ‘seasoned commuter’ will tell you, this would all be very well if everything ran on time all the time; however, given that, what is a ‘connection’ in most people’s eyes is not one in those of the train operator.
As a now former commuter myself, I have countless recollections of missing ‘connecting’ trains - some by seconds, because the conductor or signaller wouldn’t hold them up - and I can only see that these proposals will cause problems to travellers. This in turn will make it harder for people to get to jobs, colleges etc and therefore the area will find it hard to progress economically.
One only has to look at the opportunities that the Kent coast towns have been given by the extension of HS services to and from their areas. The government, Network Rail and other authorities missed a huge opportunity with the opening of Ashford International station and the subsequent HS link by not upgrading the ‘Marshlink’, which remains 20+ years on a single track line which is not even electrified.
With the change of leadership at No.10 and other political events it seems dubious as to whether we will now ever see the ‘Javelins’ stopping at our stations.
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