MP attends meeting to discuss future of high speed rail link

Rye MP Amber Rudd attended a recent meeting on the proposed high speed rail link.

And Amber said the plans were still very much on track.

She said: “It is a working group of local council leaders, senior executives from the rail industry and local rail groups.

“We meet under the heading, ‘continuing the momentum’ and I am pleased to report that the prospect of high speed trains to Hastings and Rye is very much a reality. Network Rail have again assured us of their support for this scheme.

“Our three local authorities; East Sussex County Council, Hastings Borough Council and Rother District Council have committed to funding a consultant to develop the regeneration case for the investment in HS1 services through to Hastings and Rye.”

The MP says modelling and track design work is due to begin towards the end of the year with construction expected to start in 2019.

The route will run direct from Bexhill, Hastings, Rye, Ashford, Ebbsfleet, Stratford and Kings Cross International.

The line will be upgraded to accommodate high speed trains either through third rail or overhead connection. It will involve substantial infrastructure investment along the line and at the various stations covered, particularly at Ashford.

Rye rail action group Marshlink (MLAG) sees the high speed link as the only viable way to get electrification and dual tracking of the Rye line, a situation that has hampered the line for decades.

Chairman Stuart Harland said: “MLAG will continue to be vigilant to ensure that all discussions about HS1 include a reference to Rye when the other intended stops are mentioned.

“I was keen to emphasise this at th recent meeting of Rye Town Council’s public services committee.”