Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Highspeed train services for Deal and Sandwich to start a month early (September 5th)

The new Southeastern service will begin on September 5th - thanks to funding from Kent County Council. Services in the morning leave Sandwich at 05:50, 06:18 and 06:50, calling at Deal six minutes later.

In the evening there are two services to Deal and Sandwich, leaving St Pancras International at 17:40 and 18:40.

The new services will operate Monday to Friday and will take around 90 minutes.

Charlie Elphicke, MP for Dover and Deal said, "This marks the fulfilment of a key pledge to Deal. The service is vital to boosting the local economy. I am delighted that Southeastern has agreed to provide this service and KCC has been able to fund it. We need more jobs and money in Deal and the fast train stopping at Deal is a key part of that."

This is very welcome news that the service is to start early, however this does not complete the fulfilment of improved rail services to Deal and Sandwich. The population of Deal and Sandwich is larger than many Kent towns which already have all day highspeed services.

The economy of East Kent which has the lowest jobs to population ratio in the county needs a full highspeed service to encourage investment particularly into the Pfizer site and for tourism in Deal and Sandwich which is rapidly expanding.

A step in the right direction but not the end game.

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