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Shepway Tory Councillor challenged to show direct peak services to Charing Cross in new southeastern timetable

August 14, 2009 10:00 AM
Originally published by Folkestone and Hythe Liberal Democrats
Tim Prater

Folkestone Councillor Tim Prater has challenged Conservative Cllr Rory Love to show which services will run direct from Folkestone to Charing Cross at peak times

Liberal Democrat Folkestone Councillor Tim Prater has challenged Conservative Councillor and Cabinet member Rory Love to explain where direct services from Folkestone to Charing Cross appear in southeastern's draft timetable for services after December 2009.

At a recent Shepway Council meeting the Liberal Democrats put a motion calling for urgent lobbying of southeastern on the new timetable, especially due to concern of the loss of direct services in peak hours. Cllr Love backed an amendment which involved more local investigation first, saying that, as he understood it, there would still be direct trains which join, as now, at Ashford.

Tim Prater has now challenged Councillor Love to back up that claim. He has sent him links to the draft timetable from southeastern's own web site, and asked Cllr Love to show which services he believes will offer a direct, no-change, peak service from Folkestone to Charing Cross.

Folkestone Councillor Tim Prater said:

"During the recent Shepway full Council meeting, you called for additional local investigation of the timetable as you believed there where still direct services from Folkestone to Charing Cross at peak times. As I said response at the meeting, it was not only our view of the draft timetable that such direct services do not appear - it was also the view of southeastern.

"I hope you've taken time since the meeting to look at the draft timetable at http://tinyurl.com/m2q6y9. My reading of that timetable is that there is a direct service from Folkestone to Charing Cross departs Folkestone Central at 05.38 and arrives at Charing Cross at 07.25, with the next direct service to departing Folkestone Central at 07.36 and arriving at Charing Cross almost 2 hours later at 09.25. Between those times, there seems to be no direct service - commuters will have to change at Ashford or London Bridge.

"Could you explain to me which services you believe offer a direct, no-change service from any Folkestone station at peak times to Charing Cross? If you can do so, then I will admit I was wrong. If you can't, I hope you will do the same, and ensure Shepway Council urgently lobbies southeastern to ensure such services continue after December with no further delay."