11 APR 2018

Helen keeps the pressure up on local train services

Since becoming the MP for Maidstone and The Weald in 2010, Helen Grant has continuously campaigned to improve and maintain local train services.

Recently her work has seen her take local concerns to the very top; meeting with the Secretary of State Chris Grayling MP to discuss Maidstone's High Speed services amongst a number of other concerns. At the end of 2017, Helen also expressed her immense frustration at the push-back of Thameslink Services coming to the County Town.

As 2018 progresses Mrs Grant has pledged to continue to press for the services that Maidstone deserves. When the House of Commons returns after Easter Recess, Helen will be applying for a Westminster Hall debate with her neighbouring MP Tom Tugendhat to highlight issues on the Maidstone East line.

In addition to this, Helen will be joining other Kent MPs in meeting with the new rail Minister Jo Johnson MP to discuss timetable changes affecting services from Maidstone East.

The new timetable which was announced yesterday, will come into force on Sunday 20th May. The changes show that the same number of trains will be running at peak times on the Maidstone East line but that the timings of these will change. Once such change will mean that a peak service will arrive into London Victoria at 9:10am which may be too late for some passengers. Other changes mean that some services will be a longer duration but Southeastern have also stated that others will be shorter.

Speaking about the changes, Helen Grant said:

'Whilst no train services have been cut, these changes will affect some of my constituents travelling at peak times from Maidstone East Station.

Southeastern have said that by spreading the services out it will reduce the current gaps of arrivals into Victoria, but I have concerns that passengers understandably will rush to get the earlier trains causing those to be more overcrowded. It's disappointing also that some trains are going to be longer in duration as I already feel the service to Victoria is very slow.

Overall it remains a priority for me to ensure that we have the best possible services on offer to my constituents who use the train network on a daily basis. That is why I will continue to campaign at both national and local level on this important issue.'

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