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Teynham parish council takes on Southeastern to overturn cuts to village train service

A group of parishioners is taking on Southeastern in a bid to stop any further cuts to their village train service.

Teynham Parish Council is lobbying the company to overturn “chaotic” changes already made, as a public consultation on new timetables closes today.

In August next year, Southeastern plans to alter services including changing times for the London to Dover via Chatham and adding Newington as an additional stop on the line.

The platform at Teynham station
The platform at Teynham station

The move has worried a number of elderly Teynham residents who feel the move could pave the way for more timetable alterations in their area.

They say they have already been severely impacted by changes made to the service in 2009 and numerous letters about the problem to Southeastern have been ignored.

Six years ago, Southeastern scrapped one of the twice-hourly trains from the village to Canterbury and Dover.

Connection times at Faversham have also increased since 2009, with off-peak waiting times between trains at 30 minutes.

Train services are disrupted. Stock picture
Train services are disrupted. Stock picture

Teynham Cllr Peter Finch said: “The loss of off-peak services to destinations such as Canterbury, has made hospital visits, theatre and shopping trips very unattractive and at certain times of the day almost impossible by rail.

“People are going further and further away for routine hospital stuff; some have to go to Canterbury, others have to go to Medway.

“For people to get there by train if they don’t drive is chaotic and what about those with disabilities or an injury?”

The parish council is being supported by chairman of the Swale Joint Transportation Board Cllr Mike Whiting.

Cllr Mike Whiting
Cllr Mike Whiting

The Teynham and Lysted ward councillor and Conservative MP Gordon Henderson met Southeastern’s managing director, David Statham, to discuss train services to the village in March.

Cllr Whiting said: “We talked about a number of things, including some of the issues they are having in Teynham and Newington.

“It’s disappointing that some of those things we raised with him were not addressed.”

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