The council and local rail action groups share disappointment that proposals for a new station at Glyne Gap have been shelved.
At a meeting of Rother Transport Action Group (RTAG) on August 12, the latest inspector’s report into the viability of a station at Glyne Gap made it clear that there was no hope of this happening any time soon.
David Marlow, Rother District Council’s (RDC) Planning Policy Manager Glyne Gap station said: “Rother District Council shares a disappointment that the various independent, expert appraisals into the potential for an additional railway station at Glyne Gap showed that it was not viable and not supported by Network Rail. This evidence, and counter-arguments put forward through Derrick Coffee, were all scrutinised by the Local Plan Core Strategy Inspector, who also concluded that “there is no prospect of this scheme being funded in the near future and no clear indication that it is likely to be achieved in the plan period. It would therefore be unrealistic to retain it in the Core Strategy. The Inspector added that removing it from the relevant references in the plan was ‘therefore necessary for soundness”.”
The Council cannot make any amendments to the Inspector’s recommendations. It can only either accept them or withdraw the whole plan. RDC said the desire for a station at Glyne Gap is retained but in recognition of the current lack of any immediate prospect of achieving this, it is not included in the current ‘Priority Programme’ and concluded that it will be kept under review but is unable to do anything more at this time.
Campaigner Derrick Coffee said he was disappointed at the inspectors findings. “In the shadow of the Link Road this is a big blow.
“Our research shows that a station at Glyne Gap is viable. There’s a general election coming up and it might be possible to re-energise the campaign for a station with the next parliament.”
He added: “It’s a missed opportunity.”