Local MP Steams Down the Track in Call for Rail Improvements


Local MP Sally-Ann Hart met with officials at 10 Downing Street to set out her priorities for Hastings and Rye. This includes more investment in local rail services and infrastructure ensuring a more reliable service, faster trains to London and better value for money for commuters. Following this meeting Sally-Ann had this to say, “One of my top priorities for Hastings and Rye is improvements to our local transport infrastructure, and rail is a critical part in this. For too long commuters, residents and visitors have been plagued by underfunded services, disruption and ever- increasing fares. This simply isn’t good enough.

“It’s time now to stop the talking about improvements and start actioning them. At my first meeting with
officials in 10 Downing Street I made it clear that more investment is required in our local rail
infrastructure to improve the services to local residents. I also pushed the point that action is need now
and the period of dither and delay must come to an end.”

After her conversations at Downing Street, Sally-Ann met with Martin Woodfine of the St Leonards and
Hastings Rail Improvement Programme (SHRIMP) and Ray Chapman of East Sussex Rail Alliance
(ESRA) to talk further about the work required to improve the service.

Sally-Ann commented after her meeting with Martin and Ray, “I was delighted to be able to meet so soon
into my new role as MP, with Martin and Ray. It gave me an opportunity to outline my priorities to them
for local rail improvements, and the work I’m already doing to ensure we get the investment and action
we need. It is clear to me we need a coordinated approach across the South East that improves signalling,
reduces journey times to London and along the coast, and delivers more environmentally friendly rolling

After the meeting Ray said “we were delighted to meet with Sally-Ann and see her commitment to
improvements to local rail in Hastings and Rye. At the meeting we were clear with her that the service,
although better than it has been, still requires major improvements – from signalling upgrades, to better
rolling stock and faster services to London and along the south coast mainline. We are all clear that there
is lots more to do, but the determination is there, and we are all keen to see action prevail over words
now.” Martin also commented to say “SHRIMP found the meeting constructive, with a new momentum
after years of delays. There are multi-faceted talks being scheduled to drive the Marshlink projects
forward. There is still lots to do, but there is a renewed optimism that will benefit the whole area.”