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Anger at decision to close Sheerness to Sittingbourne railway line

By KentOnline reporter

An angry commuter has expressed his frustration after rail chiefs decided there would be no trains between Sheerness and Sittingbourne for a second day running.

Justin Brown relies on the service to get to and from work in the Medway Towns.

But the 31-year-old, of Sheerness, says he has been left stranded in Chatham by Southeastern and Network Rail's decision to effectively close the line due to the snow and ice.

This is the 'station closed' sign that greeted commuters in Sheerness
This is the 'station closed' sign that greeted commuters in Sheerness

"I had to pay £50 for a hotel last night which they won't reimburse me for," he said.

"I can't get back tonight but I have a friend who can put me up for the night.

"They ran a replacement bus service yesterday but they weren't willing to run replacement buses today.

"They said it was for customers' safety and they didn't want buses out on the roads."

A deserted Sheerness Railway Station
A deserted Sheerness Railway Station

Mr Brown, a car park attendant, added: "It's poor service. Why can't they run a reduced service? There's more than one person in Sheerness, Queenborough and Kemsley who needs to commute by train.

"They think 'It's only Sheppey, don't worry about it'.

"And they tell people to work from home - well I certainly can't do that."

The weather had caused turmoil for trains.
The weather had caused turmoil for trains.

A spokesman for Southeastern said the decision to suspend services was based on the fact there were fewer passengers who use the Sheerness to Sittingbourne line and priority was being given to busier routes.

They added: "The closure of the line is a joint decision taken by Southeastern and Network Rail, as part of a contingency plan developed to provide a more reliable service and to ensure that as many passengers can get to their destinations as possible."

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