Rudd says October rail summit was most successful to date

Her tenure as MP for Hastings might be coming to an end very soon but Amber Rudd has just staged her sixth and what she says has been her most successful transport summit.

The event took place earlier this month at East Sussex College in Hastings, speaking afterward Ms Rudd said: “I was encouraged by the positivity from both panellists and residents.

“We heard from an interesting panel and it is clear that major improvements have taken place to our rail services, such as Southern’s punctuality increasing from 51.5 per cent to 75.1 per cent in one year.

Rail Summit 2019
Left to right: David Statham, Andrew Wood, Amber Rudd MP, Ray Chapman (Chair), Huw Merriman MP, Angie Doll.

“We have seen similar improvements come to Southeastern over the past year, as well as better compensation for passengers with Delay Repay 15.

“Many residents were interested to hear from Andrew Wood from Network Rail, who are pressing on with the project to bring faster journey times to our towns. I was pleased to hear that 66-69 minutes remains the target journey time for journeys to and from London, and that work will be going ahead to make this a reality. To clarify the situation for residents, track changes were required at Ashford to provide a direct service from London St Pancras to Hastings and Rye, but these would have cost £35.3 million.

“I’m delighted that there is a better way to deliver these faster journey times – by building a new platform at Ashford so faster services can run through direct to our towns. I will continue to fight for better transport services for residents which will include keeping pressure on the prize of faster journey times, and improving the safety and capacity of the A21.”

  • The list of speakers at the event were:
    • Ray Chapman – East Sussex Rail Alliance (Chair)
    • Amber Rudd – MP for Hastings and Rye
    • Huw Merriman – MP for Bexhill and Battle
    • David Statham – Managing Director at Southeastern
    • Angie Doll – Managing Director at Southern
    • Andrew Wood – Senior Commercial Manager at Network Rail
    • Rupert Clubb – Director of Communities, Economy, and Transport at East Sussex County Council
    • Graham Peters – Chairman of Team East Sussex
    • Keith Glazier – Leader of East Sussex County Council and Chairman of Transport for the South East
    • Joel Mitchell – Managing Director at Stagecoach South East
    • Peter Phillips – Route Sponsor at Highways England
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