EASTBOURNE MP Caroline Ansell will lobby ministers to help fund a rail link and improved services from Eastbourne to Ashford and East London in a move that will increase jobs and opportunities for the town.

The extension to the High Speed 1 service to Eastbourne would connect the town with the growth corridor of Ebbsfleet where the London Resort is due to create 30,000 jobs and then wider rail links to North European destinations like France and Belgium.

In addition, improved London services towards Stratford International would allow better access to Eastbourne for the important staycation market from the East London Boroughs, opening up an easy reach to a further 1 million potential tourists.

Caroline received a briefing on the wider South Coast Mainline proposals in a recent Zoom call that included proposals for the extension to Eastbourne that could be delivered within this decade.

“These are exciting plans to level up our rail infrastructure and a unique public/private funding partnership opportunity,” said Caroline.

“If finance can be found, it will be a really smart investment in our town’s public transport and do much to drive Eastbourne as the area’s premier coastal staycation destination.

“I do believe this is a real opportunity to make Eastbourne an even better place for business and visitors to come to, and for people to live here if this extension can be built.

“I was told in the meeting the idea is financially feasible and there is a great team behind this but clearly there is a case to win and a way to go until spades are in the ground as this is a multi-million-pound project.

“My job now is to speak to Department for Transport and Treasury ministers to see how much money is available to see this idea into reality. We will need match funding from the private sector too but the release of government cash is the key to get the plan rolling.”