Campaigners celebrate more stops on Rye line

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RAIL campaigners lined up on Winchelsea Station on Monday to welcome the first train to stop there under the new revised time-table.

They have fought a relentless five year battle to get more stops on the line after Southern axed nearly all stops to Winchelsea, Three Oaks and Doleham.

Only the first and last trains of the day stopped at the station leaving many people unable to get to Hastings or Rye for their shopping and pupils unable to get to school by train.

It also meant that walkers who wanted to explore the Brede Valley were unable to reach it by train.

The cuts were made to fit in with the timetable of the Ashford to Brighton express train.

Now from last Monday a revised timetable will see a better service for Winchelsea and Three Oaks with 14 trains a day stopping at each station. Doleham Halt though is still without a regular stopping service.

Delighted passengers cheered as the first of the new stopping trains pulled into Winchelsea.

The campaign was led by the Three Oaks and Winchelsea rail action group THWART.

John Spencer (Winchelsea) and Monika Betson (Three Oaks) said: “We are pleased that the rural areas will be provided with a usable train service which will encourage tourists and be a huge benefit to the communities.

“Our grateful thanks to all those who have been working ‘behind the scenes’ in adopting both stations to Michael Foster for facilitating meetings at the House of Commons and presenting our case to Lord Adonis Secretary of State for Transport and to the Community Rail Partnership for their continuing support.”