The Hastings Rother Taskforce presented the economic case for running high speed rail services to Rye, Hastings and Bexhill to a stakeholder group, including Railfuture, in Bexhill today.
The economic and regenerative case is the output of a study carried out by Mott McDonald on behalf of East Sussex County Council, Hastings Borough Council and Rother District Council. It found that delivering High Speed Rail to Bexhill, Hastings and Rye will:
- Increase connectivity into the heart of London with reduced journey times of 68 minutes from Hastings and 78 minutes from Bexhill.
- Increase business investment and growth in Bexhill and Hastings with the improved image and perception of the area as a business location.
- Increase the attractiveness of Rother and Hastings as a place to work and live.
- ‘Supercharge’ the local economy, building upon existing regeneration successes.
- Over 200 jobs created in the local visitor economy worth up to £7.6m per year to Rother and Hastings;
- Bring £19 million of benefit and 425 jobs in regeneration and economic benefits by 2028;
- Bring £354 million of benefit to the local area by 2044; and
- Contribute £123.7m to the national economy.
This will justify the work to be carried out by Network Rail to electrify and partially redouble the Marshlink line between Hastings and Ashford, and modify the junctions at Ashford to allow access from the Marshlink line to HS1. It also vindicates the campaign by Hastings and Rye MP Amber Rudd and by Railfuture for faster Marshlink services as a way to regenerate Hastings by improving connectivity with London.
Economic Case: High Speed Rail to Hastings and Bexhill - summary report and full report
First Hastings Javelin article
Railfuture Marshlink campaign