So what? Does it really matter that the train ride from Eastbourne to London should be cut from the average 95 minutes to 70 minutes – the sort of connection time Brighton-based commuters can expect from their journeys to Victoria Station.
Absolutely, especially when commuters are currently having to pay Southern Railway £4,304 for an annual season ticket between Eastbourne and the capital, a fare which has gone up by 58 per cent over the last 10 years.
Sadly, we’ve got at least a couple of years to wait – and then some – before anything might happen. The campaign for a 70-minute train has seemingly encountered leaves on the line, although the news this week the Department of Transport’s relaunch of the Thameslink Francise bidding process is encouraging, nonetheless.
Credit must be given to MP Stephen Lloyd who has slogged away to press Eastbourne’s case through his MP’s Commission. It is clear that their detailed document putting the business case for a faster train service held considerable sway.
This isn’t the silver bullet to a speedier rail service, says Stephen, but at least the ammunition is being loaded
Eastbourne needs a faster train service to the capital, it deserves a faster train service.
In the absence of particularly good road links, from a tourism perspective and a broader business sense, the future economic prosperity to the town depends on an investment in the rail network by the train companies which sits Eastbourne at the heart of those plans.