18 Mar 2010

Brighton to Ashford service saved

Brighton Station, originally uploaded by seadipper.

Following pressure from the public, the Brighton to Ashford service, seen here at Brighton, is to continue. However, the potential of this useful route will not be realised until there are two trains an hour between Ashford and Hastings, the diversion into Eastbourne and out again is eliminated, Eurostar stops more trains at Ashford, and passengers getting on and off Eurostar trains at Ashford are not charged the same as if they had travelled all the way to London.

This means that the Ashford to Hastings section needs to be upgraded and probably electrified, the missing link at Polegate needs to be reinstated in some form or other, and the immigration authorities need to get their act together so that passengers could use Eurostar between Ashford and London, just as they can between Paris and Calais.

The necessary improvements, which would cost a relatively trivial amount, will not be happening. This is an example of the many such unglamorous projects all over Britain which are being squeezed out by the obsession with high speed.

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