How long is soon?

Dear Rye Observer

I read with interest Amber Rudd MP’s email update regarding her rail summit earlier this week in Hastings. It is headlined ‘High Speed Rail Services Coming Soon’. And yet in the main text it reveals that Network Rail are only just beginning their planning for the period 2019 - 2024 in which, presumably, any developments necessary to bring HS1 to Rye and Hastings would take place. By any imagination, this time scale is certainly not ‘coming soon’.

Ms Rudd also trumpets an ‘absolute commitment’ from Network Rail to improve rail services in Hastings and Ashford. A more generic and meaningless promise could not be imagined. It could be achieved with a couple of extra services in the peak.

It occurs to me that some months ago our MP made much noise about bringing together people involved in the supermarket stalemate in Rye. Including rail, as the level crossing at Ferry Road has an impact on the supermarket plans. Since then it has all gone strangely quiet and I would venture to suggest that nothing has actually been achieved.

We can only hope that marketing, PR and spin, especially in the lead up to an election which is now a regular theme in the media, is not now the real reason for our local MPs efforts with the railways. Instead we want real action, in a timeframe that really is ‘coming soon’ as most people, other than politicians, would understand it.

Sincerely Peter Savory, Rye.