Are you a Tonbridge & Malling Rail Commuter? What do you think of Rail Action Plan?
By mikevoice | Monday, May 09, 2011, 10:12
Are you a Tonbridge & Malling rail passenger? What do you think of KCC"s Rail Plan?
Kent County Council says its campaign to stand up for the county’s commuters has been heard loud and clear by Transport Minister Theresa Villiers.
At a meeting in Westminster, Leader of Kent County Council Paul Carter and KCC Cabinet Member for Environment, Highways and Waste Bryan Sweetland presented the Minister with a copy of the Rail Action Plan for Kent, which was launched at the recent Kent Rail Summit. This 15-point plan, developed after extensive consultation with local rail and commuter groups, MPs and Kent's Parish, District and County Councils, aims to shape the next Kent rail franchise from 2014.
The main recommendations are:
- High Speed services all day to Deal & Sandwich
- Reduced journey times along the North Kent line from the East Kent coast via Medway to Victoria & Cannon Street
- New City service all day on Maidstone East line to Blackfriars (Thameslink from 2018), to reinstate City connections from Maidstone and West Mailing
- Retain Cannon Street for Sevenoaks, Tonbridge & Tunbridge Wells
- New direct service to Gatwick Airport
Leader of Kent County Council Paul Carter said:
“The Rail Action Plan is about standing up for Kent's rail users and making sure we get the service we want.
“In bringing together the views of rail travellers and local communities across Kent, our Rail Action Plan is a unique and persuasive contribution to the Department for Transport as it begins to shape the next Kent Rail Franchise.”
At last week's Kent Rail Summit at County Hall, Paul Carter, who is also Chairman of the Sandwich Economic Development Task Force, announced Kent County Council's support for a High Speed rail service for travellers from Sandwich and Deal, which will slash the journey time to London to approximately 90 minutes. It is planned that the service will start from 3 October 2011.
Paul Carter continued:
“The new High Speed Rail Service aims to boost business confidence and support new employment opportunities in the area at the same time as Pfizer withdraws from its Sandwich site.
“We took the decision to support this new High Speed service to support local businesses and attract new investment into the area. It is great news and a real boost to Sandwich and Deal.”
In addition to improving the future Kent rail franchise, Kent County Council wants to see changes to the current one.
KCC Cabinet Member for Environment, Highways and Waste Bryan Sweetland said:
“For the present franchise until 2014, our priorities are to change the current regulated fares policy from Jan 2012 to bring them in line with the rest of the country.
"We want all Kent fares to be based on the national Retail Prices Index plus 3% formula as they will be elsewhere in England from January 2012.
“We also want to see just compensation on any ticket purchased by passengers whose journey is delayed by over 30 minutes.
"We want a fair deal for all Kent commuters."
Are you a Tonbridge & Malling commuter? What do you think?