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Lib Dems put Charing Cross services on Shepway Agenda

July 21, 2009 12:36 PM
Originally published by Folkestone and Hythe Liberal Democrats

The Liberal Democrats on Shepway District Council have put a motion to Shepway Full Council on 22nd July calling for Shepway to work with other to lobby southeastern trains to retain direct peak time services from Folkestone to Charing Cross following the introduction on new services to St Pancras in December.

The motion put forward by the Liberal Democrats reads:

Council notes:

1. That the advent of High Speed Rail services from Shepway to London St Pancras is due to start in December 2009; and

2. that such services are likely to provide a much needed economic stimulus to the district.

However, Council is aware that commuter services on the existing slower lines will remain a vital transport link for a number of Shepway commuters who work close to Charing Cross and to Cannon Street. It is further aware that the timetable on these existing routes appears to have been adjusted in such a way as to make travel on them more difficult in terms of departure times from Shepway and arrival times in London. Therefore, Council resolves to:

1. Consult with commuter groups and representatives of commercial and industrial bodies on this issue.

2. Consult with neighbouring councils whose areas may be similarly affected.

3. Arrange to meet with and lobby South Eastern trains based on the above consultations.

Lib Dem Councillor Tim Prater commented:

"Although the new service to St Pancras will be welcomed, it can't be used as an excuse to leave the current commuters into South London and Charing Cross out in the cold.

"The proposed service leaves NO direct services at rush hour from Folkestone to Charing Cross - that simply can't be right. Unless southeastern reconsider, this will mean journeys for many commuters are longer and less comfortable than now - forcing people to change will mean many won't get a seat for the last part of their journey. southeastern need to play fair to their customers who rely on Charing Cross services. The new services to St Pancras are more expensive and of little use to those working in the South of London."