From: Mark Chawner, Reginald Road, Bexhill
The proposal by the DfT and GTR to scrap the through train service between Bexhill and Ashford, beggars belief.
Here is a service that actually works. As well as providing connections into Eurostar trains to the Continent, and all over Kent from Ashford, it also offers a decent, fast and punctual connection via the high-speed line into St Pancras. This is becoming increasingly popular, but given Southern’s notorious unreliability and inability to maintain connections, nobody from Bexhill is going to risk an extra change of train at Hastings. I myself commuted to Victoria on the route via Haywards Heath for around 13 years but gave up in the end. The service was atrocious, with journey times getting ever longer with each timetable change, and consequently I found myself leaving ever earlier in the morning and arriving home later and later at night.
Very seldom did the train arrive on time into London in the morning, with 10 minutes late being par for the course but often much more, with the journey taking up to two-and-a-half hours to get to Victoria. In contrast, the high-speed train from Ashford usually arrives into St Pancras on time to the second. For our town to thrive and prosper, we need a decent rail service. It is important for everybody who cares about the future of Bexhill to write to our MP Huw Merriman, leaving him in no doubt the importance of keeping this train.