Destination Bexhill?

javelin at ashford javelin at bexhill?!

In December 2009 High Speed Javelin services began between London St Pancras and a number of Kent towns via the High Speed 1 (HS1) line. This new service has slashed journey times and is assisting many parts of Kent in economic regeneration. We believe that the same should happen for Hastings and Bexhill! Currently, it is possible to reach London in around 1 hour 40 minutes via Ashford but for the forseeable future it will continue to be necessary to change trains at Ashford. Upgrading and electrifying the Marshlink to allow direct services between St Pancras and East Sussex could deliver a journey time of 1 hour 15 minutes to Bexhill instead of the current near 2-hour trek via Haywards Heath. For Hastings the journey time to and from London could be reduced to just over an hour.

Currently, both Southern and South Eastern continue to insist that both the Brighton Main Line and the route via Tunbridge Wells are full to capacity. In contrast, there is spare capacity both on the Marshlink and on HS1.

Contrary to popular belief, this would not require construction of a new line, just the long overdue electrification of the Marshlink line between Ore and Ashford, as well as some double-tracking and upgrading of signalling systems on the route. This development would also enable the Brighton - Ashford service to be operated with electric trains, solving the problem of overcrowding on the 2 car diesel units currently used to operate the service.

Kent towns such as Folkestone, Dover and Broadstairs are smaller than Bexhill, but all enjoy Javelin services. Why shouldn't we?

The government and local politicians have promised us Regeneration for the last decade. Here's a way to really make it happen!

Tell us what you think

Last updated 27th September 2010.