Taking the train for Uckfield line campaign

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Two Conservative prospective parliamentary candidates are joining forces with local council chiefs to campaign for a better rail service from Uckfield, Buxted and Crowborough.

Nus Ghani (Wealden) will meet Uckfield town, Wealden district and county councillors at Uckfield station on Tuesday morning to travel to Crowborough on the 9.34 London Bridge train.

Also there will be Brian Hart from BML2 - the pressure group aiming to re-open the line southwards from Uckfield towards the coast.

Meanwhile Tom Tugendhat (Tonbridge) and fellow campaigners will travel down from London to meet Nus at Crowborough station.

They are hoping to persuade both Network Rail and Southern that the popular Uckfield line should be upgraded - and also that promises made about ‘longer trains’ and more carriages will be honoured.

Wealden member Cllr Barry Marlowe (Hailsham) told the Express: “The Uckfield line is increasingly popular but time and time again, trains are cancelled, they are late or we are told there will be improvements which just do not happen.

“It is vital the rail companies recognise this and take action.

“It appears the only way we can draw attention to these issues is to gather a group of opinion formers and force the powers that be to recognise our concerns.”

Meanwhile Nus Ghani, who has a home in Hartfield, said: “You travel through the wonderfully upgraded London Bridge station and then realise you have to get on board a diesel train to get home.

“This line must be electrified and it is essential we have longer trains and more carriages.

“They have been promised but as yet no information is forthcoming as to when they will be delivered.

“We’ve had apologies from both rail companies but apologies do not deliver a better service. That is what is needed.”

Their statements follow a week when several early trains to London have been cancelled and commuters have dubbed the service ‘chaotic’.

Nus, Tom and Barry hope that shining a media spotlight onto these concerns might prompt the rail authorities to take action.

Next month Nus will attend a farewell dinner at the East Sussex National in honour of Charles Hendry MP who will retire at the May General Election.