Saturday, 15 September 2012
THAMESLINK AND SOUTHERN RAIL FRANCHISE IMPROVEMENTS FOR KENT
Kent Green Party supports major changes in the Thameslink and Southern rail franchises to improve rail services in Kent. It is supporting the national Green Party response to a consultation on these services(1). Dr Hazel Dawe, Campaigns Officer of Kent Green Party, comments: “Kent Green Party is supporting major changes to the Thameslink and Southern Rail Franchises to improve rail services in Kent. The Green Party has responded to a Government consultation on the future of these franchises and Kent Greens are backing their national Party’s proposals. These include: “The Eridge – Tunbridge Wells line should be re-opened (most is currently owned and operated by a heritage railway group Spa Valley). A Brighton – Tonbridge service can then be operated via Lewes, Uckfield and Tunbridge Wells(2). There should be 2 trains per hour on the Tonbridge - Redhill line with 1 going to London and 1 going to Gatwick. Until the more direct Brighton – Tonbridge service proposed above is possible the Tonbridge - Redhill - Gatwick service should be extended to Brighton(3). The Tonbridge - Gatwick service could go via East Grinstead and be extended to Guildford or Reading. This would require the re-instatement of most of the former line between Three Bridges and East Grinstead(4). “Whilst we support the principle of a through Brighton - Ashford service this has drawbacks at the moment because not all of the route is electrified and the use of 2 car diesels causes overcrowding on some parts of the route. In the medium to long term the line between Ore and Ashford should be electrified(5).” ENDS FURTHER INFORMATION: Dr Hazel Dawe, Campaigns Officer, KENT GREEN PARTY, on 01732 355185 or 079444 71083. See rail documents under Publications at www.kentgreenparty.org Contact address as above. Promoted by H.Dawe for Kent Green Party, both at 27 Audley Avenue, Tonbridge, Kent TN9 1XF. KENT GREEN NEWS, free monthly ezine, is available to subscribers at www.kentgreenparty.org Notes: 1. See submission to consultation by the Green Party of England and Wales, prepared by Alan Francis, at www.kentgreenparty.org under Publications. For further information on the submission’s implications, contact Alan Francis, Green Party Transport Speaker, 01908 316921 - firstname.lastname@example.org 2. Platforms 1 and 4 at Lewes would need to be extended eastwards beyond the junction so that these trains could reverse in those extended platforms. 3. It may have to attach/detach to another service for the Redhill – Brighton section because of capacity limitations on the 2 track section south of Balcombe junction. We support the provision of a direct service between Reigate and London. The London-Tonbridge and London-Reigate services could join/split at Redhill. 4. And the re-instatement of former chord between the Tonbridge line and the East Grinstead line at Crowhurst Jn. 5. However in the short term the service could be split into two overlapping services. There could be a Brighton-Hastings service running semi-fast operated by 4 car EMUs and an all stations Eastbourne-Ashford service operated by 2 car DMUs. The two would be synchronized so that eastbound the DMU would arrive at Hastings and wait for the arrival 3 mins later of the EMU. Passengers from Brighton and other stations served by the semi-fast EMU service, say all stations Brighton-Eastbourne and Bexhill, would transfer to the DMU for stations east of Hastings. We also support re-instatement of cross-Brighton trains: the Ashford - Brighton service or Hastings - Brighton service should be extended westwards to Portsmouth or Southampton. To overcome the platform problems at Brighton station alterations should be made such that both platforms 2 and 3 can be used by cross-Brighton services and longer trains can be accommodated.
Posted by Stuart Jeffery at 06:57