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Beast from the East snow skirts by Dover and Deal but area's Southeastern train lines shut

By Sam Lennon

An MP wants to know why his constituency's train stations are closed today when it has hardly had any snow.

The entire railway line from Dover to Ramsgate was shut today when Dover and Deal only had brief and light falls of snow from the Beast from the East.

Chasrlie Elphicke is angry that Dover constituency train stations are standing useless,including Martin Mill, Walmer and Deal along with Sandwich.

Poodle from the East. Little snow affected Dover, as shown in Biggin Street
Poodle from the East. Little snow affected Dover, as shown in Biggin Street

Dover Priory is continuing a limited service westwards with hourly trains scheduled for Ashford and St Pancras International in London.

Yet key roads in Dover and Deal remained completely passable and there were only limited amounts of snow of the ground.

Mr Elphicke said: “People are understandably angry at Southeastern’s decision to close the line.

“It’s bizarre. Dover and Deal has been less affected by the weather than anywhere else in Kent. Yet it’s our line that has been closed.

“People in our corner of Kent pay a huge amount of money for tickets

."Yet they tell me the service this week has been chaotic – and now to add insult it’s our line which has been closed.

“I’ve spoken to Southeastern and urged them to properly explain their decision – and to get the line re-opened tomorrow.”

Dover and Deal MP Charlie Elphicke, Picture courtesy of the office of Charlie Elphicke
Dover and Deal MP Charlie Elphicke, Picture courtesy of the office of Charlie Elphicke

Mr Elphicke has invited the public to give comments on his Facebook page so he can convey them to the train company.

The Beast from the East, sub-zero winds from Siberia, has severely affected other parts of Kent all this week.

Southeastern announced the closure of the Dover to Ramsgate route, part of the Paddock Wood Line, yesterday.

It was at a time when both heavy snow and wind were forecast for today, which usually means a risk of snowdrifts blocking roads and rail lines.

Kearnsney, Shepherdswell, Aylesham and Snowdown stations, on the Dover to Victoria route, also shut along with Canterbury East.

The Canterbury area has had more snow but roads have been passable.

It is all part of the wider disruption to the rail services due to this week's Arctic-like weather, the worst of its kind in Kent for five years.

Market Square, Dover, had only a few splatterings of the white stuff
Market Square, Dover, had only a few splatterings of the white stuff

A spokesman for Southeastern said this afternoon: "Heavy snow and icy weather continues to affect rail passengers across the South East, and Southeastern is running an amended timetable today.

"Even in locations with less snow than others, sub-zero temperatures and significant snow elsewhere on the network can cause disruption.

“With more snow forecast for Friday and into the weekend, train times will also be amended on Friday and Saturday.

This is part of a contingency plan developed by Southeastern and Network Rail to provide a more reliable service, and to ensure that as many passengers as possible can get to their destinations.

“This is a joint decision taken by Southeastern and Network Rail, and includes the closure of several parts of the network, and around 50 of the 180 stations on the route.

“Network Rail and Southeastern staff are working around the clock to run as many trains as possible, with extra teams on the ground at various locations across the South East. We’d like to thank passengers for bearing with us while our teams are out there clearing platforms and tracks and getting trains moving.”

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