Rye Observer Comment

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RYE has direct rail links to two international stations yet the service passengers get hardly reflects this.

Commuters are plagued by poor connections at Ashford, key tourist destinations like Winchelsea have no Sunday service and passengers arriving on high speed trains from the continent suddenly find themselves on cramped, two carriage diesel trains on a single track line.

Now with the rail franchise up for renewal and the Department of Transport seeking feedback from local rail users, the Marshlink Action Group has responded with a commendable set of proposed improvements.

All of what they are asking seems achievable to us and we cannot understand why many of them were not implemented years ago.

Passengers will remember shivering on long bus journeys through three months in the winter because, absurdly, a tunnel closure at Hastings meant no trains could run between Rye and the commuter staging post of Ashford.

Let’s hope the Department of Transport take the proposals seriously when they come to award the new franchise.

Hats off to the organisers of Rye International Jazz Festival.

We were in the town over the weekend and it was buzzing.

Venues were packed and there was a real feel-good factor and buzz about the town.

The festival looks certain to become an annual event and will be a welcome addition to Rye’s growing calendar of attractions and festivals.

Now we hardly have time to breathe before the excellent Rye Festival gets underway this month.

If you really cannot wait until then - head over to Smallhythe Place on Saturday where a music and beer festival takes place in the grounds of the National Trust property. Extra buses are running from Rye to and from the festival.