Tuesday, 2 October 2012

KCC responds to DfT rail franchise consultation with all-day High Speed service requirement for DEAL

Kent County Council has responded to the Department for Transport's rail franchise consultations. The two consultation responses - for the South Eastern and for the Combined Thameslink franchises - were approved by Bryan Sweetland, the Cabinet Member for Environment, Highways & Waste. 

Q7 The Council, in response to representations from the local Rail User Group and other stakeholders, now proposes that the new franchise specification should include a requirement for this High Speed service to operate all day. This would undoubtedly support the regional economic growth so urgently needed in this part of Kent, where unemployment is among the highest level in the county. The provision of an all-day High Speed service between London St Pancras, Folkestone, Dover, Deal and Sandwich should encourage access to London employment and education opportunities for residents from East Kent, and also the location by businesses in this part of Kent bringing new local employment opportunities. 

This is great news but there is a sting in the tail! KCC also mention their aspiration for off peak High Speed services to be increased from one train per hour to two trains per hour but only for Folkestone West, Folkestone Central and Dover Priory. Considering they mention their surprise at the success of the exisiting passenger numbers using High Speed from Deal and Sandwich this does seem very short sighted. 

Full documentation is available here.

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