MP’s campaign on track for a better train link

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EASTBOURNE MP Stephen Lloyd has met the rail minister to campaign for a better rail service to London.

Mr Lloyd met MP Theresa Villiers last week and raised his concerns about the one hour 27 minutes travel time to London from Eastbourne. He said in 1938 the journey to the capital only took one hour 15 minutes.

“Eastbourne is only seven miles further from London than Brighton, yet it takes an extra 36 minutes on our train service compared to the Brighton line. Frankly I suspect Paula Radcliffe could outperform the Eastbourne train.”

Mr Lloyd is currently campaigning to get at least one fast train an hour between Eastbourne and London.

He said, “I met with the minister after a number of meetings with Chris Burchell, managing director of Southern, to stress the importance of a faster train service between London and Eastbourne.

“Eastbourne is one of the fastest growing towns in the South East and a shorter journey to the capital will present us with development opportunities, not least with the Olympics around the corner; as well as making Eastbourne a more attractive destination to people working in London.”

David Cooper, former president of the Eastbourne Chamber of Commerce and current chairman of the MPs Commission transport sub-committee, was also present at the meeting.

Mr Cooper said, “A quicker train between London and Eastbourne is something I’ve been pushing for some time now and I’m hopeful, with Stephen Lloyd at the helm, we can really get somewhere.

“The next stage will be to go back to Southern and put forward proposals to reduce the journey time that Stephen and I have come up with. With the announcement Southern Rail will remove toilets on our trains to London, frankly I would rather cross my legs for only an hour than an hour and a half.”