I have written many times before in my newsletter about the need for better rail links in our area, and I have been campaigning hard for a fast line (Maidstone East/ London Bridge), calling at Otford and Swanley, since first being elected. People moved to Otford and Swanley upon the promise of this line from Government, and I have been determined that they would eventually obtain the service they deserved.
After our long fought campaign, I was thrilled to receive the news of an hourly service Monday to Saturday (with an additional train during the morning rush hour) from Maidstone East to Charing Cross from December. The service means that those travelling from Otford and Swanley can now access London Bridge, London Waterloo East and London Charing Cross faster and without the need to change. In addition to this, the timetable change will also mean morning commuters from Sevenoaks will benefit from additional rush hour services into London. A massive result, and one that will have a huge impact on local commuters. I am delighted.
My transport survey of Otford residents last year was clear that there was huge local support for this fast line amongst residents, and I am so pleased that Southeastern have now listened to our calls for action. The new timetable comes into effect from 11th December and is the result of our campaign. I would therefore like to take a moment to say a huge thank you to Sevenoaks District Council Leader Cllr Peter Fleming, Kent County Councillor for Otford (and KCC leader) Cllr Roger Gough and Sevenoaks Railway Travellers Association, who have all worked so hard with me to ensure local commuters are heard.
Nationally, there has been much unfolding in Westminster over the past few weeks. However, we now have a new Prime Minister whose top priority is addressing the economic and political challenges facing families across Sevenoaks and Swanley, including the rising cost of living, and strengthening the NHS. In the recent reshuffle I was honoured to have been appointed by HM The King as Parliamentary Under Secretary at the Department for Work and Pensions. This is a vital department, whose work ensures the most vulnerable in our society are supported, and I look forward to working with the team to tackle the challenges which lie ahead. However, serving my constituents across Sevenoaks and Swanley will always be my priority and I will of course continue to work on your behalf to ensure your voices in Westminster are heard. If you need help or would like to discuss any issues you are currently facing, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The success of the fast line campaign is proof that by working together we can – and will - achieve a real and meaningful change for residents.
MP for Sevenoaks and Swanley
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