This is why an upgrade to the Eastbourne, Hastings, Rye and Ashford Southern Railway line is long overdue

From: Richard Tilden Smith, Clifford Road, Bexhill-on-Sea

Friday, 6th August 2021, 6:00 am
Updated Friday, 6th August 2021, 6:13 am
Southern train

For years we have been promised and promised a modernisation of our railway along the South Coast from Eastbourne to Hastings, Rye and Ashford. The need today is even greater now than it has ever been.

Here is an example which affected me directly. I had a 12.00 hours physio appointment in Rye last Wednesday, and I had heard that travelling from home in Bexhill would be very difficult due to road works and subsequently a failure of signalling across Marsh Link – and then of a level crossing gate at Rye station.

Trains to Ashford (via Rye). according to the board at Bexhill, were delayed - and no other information was available - and three times I went home, and each time I went back as soon as I got down to the platform, I discovered that each hourly service was not delayed but cancelled. No alternative – such as replacement buses – was suggested.

There was a total failure in the Southern service and an equally appalling communication by that provider. I lost my appointment and have paid my medical fee and rail tickets for nothing but further back pain – and a totally wasted morning and rising annoyance.

There has been a continuing lobby for years now by passenger stakeholder groups in the key sea-side towns for upgrade and electrification across the Marsh Link - 
and faster services to London.

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