High speed train through Kent
by Chris Price
Commuters facing longer journeys to work due to possible cuts in high speed services have unveiled plans to keep HS1 in their area.
More than 100 people attended a Trains4Deal meeting when campaigners laid out proposals for fast weekday links to Deal and the Discovery Park in Sandwich.
Funding for the area’s HS1 service runs out in March next year, with no word on what will happen afterwards from Kent County Council, Southeastern trains or the Government.
Plans unveiled at the Bohemian in Deal on Thursday night aim to attract London workers to the area.
They suggest extending the St Pancras service arriving at Dover at 8.18am to Deal at 8.36am, Sandwich at 8.42am and Ramsgate at 8.54am.
Campaigners argue the cost would not be excessive and would be mitigated by the economic benefits to the area.
One of the campaign founders Tom Rowland said: “We have worked out a system which uses the spare capacity on the line. It is perfectly viable.
“At the moment you cannot get up to Discovery Park from London in the morning and the owners say that is a major impediment to getting high quality technology companies to lease space from them.
“A lot of people have got jobs in London and if these trains are stopped, they are completely stuffed. They have got houses they have bought and no way of getting to the jobs that service the morgages for them. It is an impossible position they have been put in.”
* For full story see the East Kent Mercury, September 26.