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Eastbourne & Willingdon Lib Dems

Eastbourne in 70 Minutes back on track!

October 14, 2013 12:34 PM

Stephen Lloyd MP after meeting train franchise officials at the Dept of Transport.Stephen Lloyd MP has welcomed the Department for Transport's relaunch of the Thameslink Franchise bidding process, which will include the Southern Service to Eastbourne from 2015.

The consultation was held in 2012 and a large group of Eastbourne organisations, led by the MPs Commission, submitted a detailed document putting the business case for a faster train service to and from London. However, the whole franchise process was put on hold briefly by the Coalition Government, but has now resumed with the consultation response and Invitation To Tender being released on Thursday the 26th September.

While the Department for Transport's document makes no specific timetable stipulations, the Eastbourne in 70min campaign is referenced repeatedly throughout the 100+ page report. Of all the respondents from across the South East, the third largest group came from Eastbourne calling for a faster train service. Critically, the document puts lots of emphasis on the train companies to find innovative and popular ways to improve the service, and the tender will be decided on this as much as the bottom line. This places the Eastbourne in 70min Campaign in a very good position to achieve its goal.

Stephen said: "While the Department's response does not immediately give us the silver bullet that we had hoped for, it does put our campaign in a very strong position and I am optimistic going forward. I'm also very grateful to the hundreds of local residents and businesses who wrote in to the consultation, as it has put Eastbourne in a very strong position."

He went on to say: "I will now be meeting with all the 5 train operator companies short listed for this franchise to ensure that they know a possible competitive edge for them lies in providing a faster train service for our town."