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Children missing school at Sir Roger Manwood’s and Sandwich Tech as trains cancelled due to signalling fault at Minster

Children have been missing school as a signalling fault has caused the cancellation of a vital train service, which has not been running since Friday.

Families in Minster who do not have cars have been left helpless by the lack of available public transport.

Trains for schoolchildren have been cancelled since Friday. Picture: Stock image.
Trains for schoolchildren have been cancelled since Friday. Picture: Stock image.

Mum-of-two Steph Thompson, from Minster, says trains between the village and Sandwich have been cancelled since Friday afternoon, continuing this morning (Tuesday).

She has had to drive her two children, Jessica, 16, and Harry, 13, to and from Sir Roger Manwood’s School in Sandwich.

Mrs Thompson said: “It first began on Friday afternoon when my children couldn’t get home from school.

“I had to pick them up in my car. It has gone on yesterday and today. I have had to drive them to and from school. I’ll do that but it’s annoying.

Pupils at Sir Roger Manwood's School were affected. Picture: Google Maps
Pupils at Sir Roger Manwood's School were affected. Picture: Google Maps

Mum Becca Jayne had to let her daughter Caitlin, 13, stay at home today after days of chaos trying to get her to and from Sandwich Technical College.

She said: “On Friday afternoon I had to drive and pick her up from Sandwich.

“She got a replacement bus on Monday morning but that afternoon it didn’t turn up. She had to take a train to Ramsgate where I picked her up while the other children had to take another train to Minster.

“Today she couldn’t go in at all. I’m annoyed that she has had to miss her learning. This has been an absolute pain.”

The problem has been discussed on the Marvellous Minster Facebook page.

One mum said: “My kids ended up in Canterbury on the way home when told to get off at Thanet Parkway to get to Minster.

“A guard put them on a train that went directly to Canterbury. Good thing they are 15 and 17. I don’t drive so they won’t be going now.”

A spokesman for Network Rail told KentOnline that a signalling fault has affected several points in the Minster area.

“Engineers have been working overnight to rectify the issue and will be working this evening after the services stop running and hope to have the track up and running by tomorrow morning,” they added.

The company said the signalling failure only affected two trains a day carrying schoolchildren between Sandwich and Minster and there is a bus replacement service in the meantime.

A spokesman for Southeastern said: “Unfortunately, because of a signalling problem near Minster, affecting a small number of trains that run directly between Minster and Sandwich, trains are currently unable to run between those two stations.

“Trains between Ramsgate and Canterbury West, and the trains that run between Ramsgate and Sandwich aren’t affected and are running normally.

“We’re expecting normal services on this stretch of track to resume tomorrow morning”.

The company says that for the rest of today the 15:24 Dover Priory to Faversham service will not stop at Minster but will stop additionally at Thanet Parkway.

Both schools have also been invited to comment on the situation.

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