Hopes 1066 high-speed rail will be funded in 2019

Bexhill and Battle MP Huw Merriman pictured with district councillors campaigning for high-speed rail SUS-150402-123549001
Bexhill and Battle MP Huw Merriman pictured with district councillors campaigning for high-speed rail SUS-150402-123549001

High-speed rail travel to London will not be possible for at least another three years, according to MP Amber Rudd.

The high speed link, which would cut travel times to London from Hastings and Bexhill by around a third, has been championed by Ms Rudd and Hastings Borough Council, but will not be funded until at least 2019.

Ms Rudd said financing for rail programmes happens within six-year control periods and she is hoping to be in the 2019 expenditure period.

Failure to gain funding within this period could mean another six-year wait until the next funding window. “The chancellor in the spending review was asked to confirm that we would be considered in the period by my colleague Huw Merriman, MP for Battle and Bexhill, and he did so,” said Ms Rudd.

“There is no change from the commitment and the campaign to deliver high-speed rail for Hastings and Bexhill subject to getting it in the control period, getting it financed, and making the case.

“There will be a rail summit in March at Sussex Coast College, Hastings, which I hope will raise awareness around what else needs to be done to continue to be on the front foot on this.”

Ms Rudd, who is also the secretary of state for energy and climate change, promised high speed rail for Hastings during the last general election.

She is seeking better train links for the area as a way to bring in new investors from London to help regenerate Hastings.

The extension would extend Javelin trains from St Pancras International to Bexhill via Hastings and Ashford.

A report released in October by the Hastings Rother Taskforce showed the high-speed rail could bring more than 600 jobs to the area and around £27m a year to the region by 2028.

The upgrade itself is expected to cost around £150m.

Ms Rudd finished by saying that she is ‘completely committed to continuing to make the case for the upgrade’ and ‘high-speed rail for Hastings is still firmly on my agenda’.

Amber Rudd’s Rail Summit will take place at Sussex Coast College, Hastings, on March 18.

Chancellor’s support for 1066 country high speed rail

{http://www.hastingsobserver.co.uk/news/local/case-to-bring-high-speed-rail-to-hastings-securely-made-1-6852780| Case to bring high speed rail to Hastings ‘securely made’

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