This is a response received from Southern which may be of interest to you. It is not clear if Network Rail has been approached about moving the closure to a time of lighter evenings and when there are no roadwork’s on the A259.
From: SR_VIP [mailto:SR_VIP@postroom.com]
Sent: 28 October 2011 17:09
To: Neill, Jason
Subject: Closure of the Marshlink rail service during early 2012 Reference TP1273
Dear Mr Neill,
Thank you for your recent email to Chris Burchell our Managing Director. Mr Burchell has read your comments and asked me to reply to you on his behalf.
Firstly I have to say that the condition of the Ore Tunnel really does make it imperative that the work be carried out as soon as possible, and we do not believe that Network Rail, who are responsible for this, would be willing to move the planned dates back.
As far as the replacement bus services are concerned, the current state of play is that we have concluded it would serve our passengers best to put in place a reliable, robust replacement bus plan, and we have been talking to people locally to ensure we deliver the right number of buses to the right locations to meet the needs of passengers along this route.
Currently the plan is to have:
* A half-hourly bus service between Hastings, Winchelsea, Rye, Appledore, Ham Street and Ashford (although the train service is only hourly this will take into account the extended journey time).
* A Hastings to Ore shuttle every 15 mins.
* Minibuses/taxis from Doleham and Three Oaks to Rye and Hastings. We have based these plans on passenger data, however we have promised local residents that we will commission more survey work to ensure we have the right number of buses, at the right time, going to the right places. We know this work will be disruptive for passengers but it is essential, and we have looked long and hard at how to best keep passengers moving during this difficult time.
Our Short Term Planning Manager tells me he is working on the bus plan at the moment, and would expect to publish the final information towards the end of November.
We are currently in consultation with user groups, and should these consultations finish earlier, we may be able to publish details sooner.
As I am sure you are aware the Marsh Link Action Group (
http://www.mlag.org.uk) have been involved in these plans, and they might be able to give you further information if you wished yourself to be involved in the consultation process.
Customer Services Manager