Since I was elected in 2010 I have made it a priority to improve our area’s rail links. This is key to boosting the local economy and attracting jobs and investment.
Currently it takes far too long to travel along the coast and to make journeys to London. To change this I have been campaigning for improvements to the Marsh Link and for high speed services from London to Hastings, Rye and onto Bexhill.
Every year I hold a transport summit where government ministers and industry leaders present on service improvements, and they hear from the local community on where more can be done and on the need for high speed.
In addition, I have convened a High Speed Rail Working Group which meets regularly in Westminster. The group is made up of local MPs, council leaders, the Local Enterprise Partnership, business and development leaders with the aim of speaking with a clear and unified voice to keep pressure on Network Rail and the Government to ensure we get the train service we need.
A draft study of the South East’s rail requirements will soon be published. This will give us the vital opportunity to assess the costs of the projects we want and make the case for why they should be funded.
Decisions on investment will then be made over the next couple of years with work to start on the chosen projects from 2020.
This campaign is always high on my agenda and I am working with colleagues in Parliament, government and local leaders to make sure Hastings and Rye will enjoy the benefits of quick, efficient and modern rail services.