HERALD COMMENT (July 6th): Faster trains to London is essential to Eastbourne’s future prosperity

NORWICH did it in ninety and now Eastbourne wants to do it in seventy.

That would mean shaving at least 20 minutes off the journey time to London – making a rail trip to the capital much more of a pleasure than a chore.

A team of campaigners set their stall this week to railroad potential operators into accepting faster daily trains as the main plank of their bids to take on the service.

A delegation met at Westminster to lay down the gauntlet and they presented a formidable front as they argued the case for what MP Stephen Lloyd called the “silver bullet”.

For too long, Eastbourne has been left to slumber in the dark ages of rail travel with aged trains, poor rolling stock, inadequate timetables, insufficient capacity and a general feeling of disdain towards long-suffering travellers.

It will be a lengthy campaign – the new franchise does not come into place until 2015 – but the lobby group has made its intentions clear, and it will have the Herald’s full backing.

Norwich is a good example of a community that won its bid for faster trains into Norfolk and now Eastbourne has set its stall to do the same.

For the sake of 20 minutes or a little more, this campaign could make a remarkable difference to our town’s economic fortunes. It’s an issue that’s no longer negotiable.

FOR anyone with elderly relatives or dependants in a care home, the pictures on page one of today’s Herald will come as a shock.

The quality of care behind closed doors has been thrown into the spotlight in this past year, with some alarming evidence of the abuse and neglect of the elderly.

However misguided the actions of two Eastbourne home assistants in mocking those in their care, picturing themselves in the act and then putting those images on to Facebook, it was undeniably cruel.

By all accounts, this is a well run and popular home. Its most recent CQC inspection said Little Acorns was providing a good service.

In which case, an even greater sadness that it should have been tainted in this way.