High Speed Rail Bexhill, Hastings, Rye

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Geoff
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High Speed Rail Bexhill, Hastings, Rye

Postby Geoff » Fri Oct 09, 2015 6:59 pm

hastings-station-javelin-713.jpg

A study was commissioned by the Hastings Rother Taskforce in October 2014 (and managed jointly by East Sussex County Council, Hastings Borough Council and Rother District Council) to consider the economic and regenerative case for running high speed rail services to Bexhill, Hastings and Rye.

The report was made publicly available today (9 October 2015). The report and its outcomes will feed into Network Rail’s Kent Route Study process which starts in October 2015. It will support the technical work being undertaken by Network Rail on improving the Marshlink line between Hastings and Ashford to enable high speed rail services to run along the line.

Here is a summary of the report...
high-speed-rail-summary-report.pdf
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Here is the full report for anyone interested in further reading...
high-speed-rail-report.pdf
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Richard
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Re: High Speed Rail Bexhill, Hastings, Rye

Postby Richard » Fri Oct 09, 2015 8:57 pm

I think it is a complicated equation to square, Geoff.

1. Nobody wants to sit on commuter train for longer than necessary and there is a well-known correlation between commuting time and property prices, while the report sees this as a beneficial effect it may exert extra pressure on those who have to rent and work locally and also lead to an increase in social exclusion in an area already suffering from serious unemployment.

2. Visitors who wish to visit, and are a staple part of the economy, may or not be much affected by reduced travel times, depending from where they are setting out from.

3. Many professionals come to Hastings for a better quality of life (example from London, Sussex, or wherever) and do not need to commute at all as they can use computers from home, example Graphic Designers.

4. Without better training, in even the most basic and useful skills, working up from an apprenticeship, Nursing, Plumbing, Electrical installation, we still see a tendency for Colleges in Hastings (as elsewhere) touting their amazing abilities to help people with 'anything their imagination can realise' (often resulting in useless qualifications) just to get the fees and funding to carry on with more of the same.
We see numerous 'Arty' courses offered for Theatre, TV, Hair-Dressing, photography and other subjects as a soft option? Most of the girls drop out of hairdressing courses as a result of pregnancy and few of the boys get a job in Film or Theatre.

5. Tourism and associated business is seen as a mainstay for the economy but do all tourists come in by rail anyway?

6. Will the increased rail fares be borne by the government or the commuter ?

Just a few rants - as per usual!!

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Geoff
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Re: High Speed Rail Bexhill, Hastings, Rye

Postby Geoff » Fri Oct 09, 2015 9:25 pm

I can totally understand your points and think for many locals it may well be a bad thing to improve the transport links.

As a comparison, what are the train links like from Eastbourne to London, and how do you think it effects their property prices and visitor numbers? I know they have a better road between the two but not how long the train takes.

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moonjiver
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Re: High Speed Rail Bexhill, Hastings, Rye

Postby moonjiver » Sat Oct 10, 2015 3:40 pm

I should really have made myself more aware about the argument here, will read the report summary later. But I suppose I've had an underlying scepticism about whether upgrading the Ashford line will ever really happen - it has been talked about for many years but there is little proper industry in this part of the world, the local econonomy is still very deprived and the only real benefit from a faster link would surely be tourism? (Which seems to manage pretty well on its own anyway). Is there really enough here to get new businesses flooding into the town?

The other reason the line hasn't so far been upgraded is sheer practicalities. The singl track sections would need to be widened, indeed the whole line would need changes, sone new bridges etc. with all the investment and land purchases which would be required. It's easy to see why all that has not so far been considered financially worthwhile and certain to bring very positive benefits in return.

A bit woffly, I'll look at that very useful report and get my facts correct! But a number of people I know positively don't want fast links to London. Like me, they like the slowness and peace of the Hastings backwater - it's why they came here.

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Re: High Speed Rail Bexhill, Hastings, Rye

Postby cbe » Sat Oct 10, 2015 3:54 pm

From the (selfish) point of view of a tourist who now ONLY travels
to Hastings by train I would love to get down from London quicker.
I travel from the North West to Euston and then from Charing Cross
to Hastings....the journey time is almost identical !!
No stops on the first leg and then 15 or 16 on the second...
as I said, from a selfish point of view

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Geoff
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Re: High Speed Rail Bexhill, Hastings, Rye

Postby Geoff » Sat Oct 10, 2015 4:14 pm

Good to hear another side to the story. Thanks for your twopenneths CBE.

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Richard
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Re: High Speed Rail Bexhill, Hastings, Rye

Postby Richard » Sat Oct 10, 2015 5:27 pm

Eastbourne has about the same train times to London, give or take, but the resident population, whilst being approximately the same as Hastings, is made up of people on average over 70 years old.
Older people don't need to commute for work and since they are mostly retired are generally cash-rich.
Whether the house prices are similar I am not sure, but again it's likely that since they are retired they will have moved several times already and be in a position to acquire property at a higher price bracket.
So it's not always a matter of journey times, but that is a general guide, all things being equal.


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