Today, I have been continuing to discuss with Southeastern and senior Network Rail representatives the situation with the landslip at Whatlington and asked them the following questions:
Do we have a date for the reopening of the Hastings to Charing Cross line?
Network Rail: Network Rail is undertaking intensive round the clock engineering works to repair the land slip at Whatlington. By Thursday 27 March, we will be in a position to give a further update including on the timeline for reopening of the line.
The lack of date for the reopening of the line has been extremely frustrating for my constituents. Any further information and images of the engineering works in progress would be most helpful during such a difficult time.
Network Rail: We are very conscious that passengers are frustrated that the line hasn’t yet re-opened. We apologise for the length of time this is taking; we assure you that we are putting the safety of passengers first and doing everything in our power to repair what has become a very problematic piece of engineering.” We have updated our storm damage website to include the above statement, please see the website: www.networkrail.co.uk/timetables-and-travel/storm-damage/
Are those who bought their tickets from Bexhill eligible for compensation?
Southeastern: Assuming the tickets from Bexhill to London are routed via Battle (so they travel for the bulk of the journey on the Hastings Line) compensation will apply.
However, those with tickets for the slightly cheaper Southern service via Hayward’s Heath to London Victoria will not as their journeys have not been impacted by the disruption on the Hastings Line. A ticket with “any permitted route” on it is valid for journeys to London both via Hywards Heath and via Battle and the holder would be entitled to compensation.
I am also attending as much as possible of the 3rd day of the Budget debate. Today is focused on Department for Communities and Local Government, we have just heard Eric Pickles telling us about the £240m of additional funds for pot hole repair (which we certainly need in Hastings and Rye) , and the Government’s plans for boosting house building.