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Lydd to Appledore Railway

Lydd Airport sign
Lydd Airport sign

by Ruth Banks

An action group in East Kent is calling for a feasibility study into the re-opening of an old train line.

Friends of Lydd Airport would like the route between Lydd and Appledore, which is now used only for freight, to be re-opened for passenger trains.

They have asked rail infrastructure firm Network Rail to look into the costs and benefits.

Spokesman Tim Crompton says the line would encourage people to use Lydd Airport, if the planned expansion goes ahead: “When there are half a million passengers coming to the airport, or leaving from the airport, it will be a viable line.

"There are a lot of people now who want to get to Ashford, but it takes about an hour-and-a-half from Lydd on a bus, so they do not go.”

Network Rail says a number of costly investments would be required in order to provide a viable link between Lydd Airport and Ashford International, so airport demand would have to be significant in order to justify the level investment: "Until it can be proven that the investment demonstrates value for money, we are not in a position to support this proposal.

"However, we would be open to exploring the options further should a third party wish to fund the project."

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