Passengers fight to save London to Brighton trains
A FIGHT is on to save Ashford to Brighton trains from cutbacks.
Southern Railway is planning to end the direct route between the two towns to provide extra carriages for overcrowded parts of their rail network elsewhere.
Passengers going between the two stations would have to change at Eastbourne.
Members of Ashford’s Joint Transportation Board (JTB) believe the service should be kept because Ashford is now a hub for both high speed and Eurostar services.
They also argued that journey times would take longer with changing trains.
Cllr Elizabeth Tweed (Con) told the JTB meeting: “I see this as the thin end of a rather big wedge. “
Cllr Bernard Heyes (Con) said: “You would have a big gap between changing trains.”
Cllr Heyes had already met Southern Railway bosses and pointed out that Ashford to East- bourne would become a slower service because of the extra stops. He believes that Ashford passengers would lose out.
Southern Railway says that the Hastings to Brighton part of the route is severely overcrowded and very few passengers travel the entire distance from Ashford to Brighton.
The change would extend twocar trains to four cars and the frequency of the service would be the same but run in different sections.
The Secretary of State is expected to make a final decision next spring.
The scheme is under consultation and the JTB agreed to call for the direct Ashford to Brighton line to be kept.
The Marshlink train passing through Appledore