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The Sussex Community Rail Partnership is today (17th May) helping to launch a nationwide campaign to encourage people to explore ‘Scenic Rail Britain’.

The Sussex Community Rail Partnership will be at Blackfriars Station in London 6.30am-7.00pm today, promoting Scenic Rail Britain and highlighting the attractions of exploring historic Sussex by rail.scenic rail britain

A new website, scenicrailbritain.com, blog and social media campaign are being launched by the Association of Community Rail Partnerships and its members at stations around the country. They will offer inspiration and information to help tourists and day-trippers plan visits to epic landscapes, coastal scenes, historic sites and picturesque areas by train, particularly via Britain’s wonderful ‘community rail’ routes.

Kirsten Firth, Community Rail Development Manager at Sussex Community Rail Partnership, said: “Today’s event and the Scenic Rail Britain campaign is a great opportunity for us to promote our wonderful railway lines to thousands of commuters and potential visitors. We know very well that Sussex has so much to offer visitors: from the coast to countryside, seaside resorts to historic towns and picture-perfect villages to lively ports and marinas. We hope that Scenic Rail Britain will help us get the message across to wider audiences, and encourage people to visit by train rather than car. It’s an enjoyable way to travel that gives fantastic views, benefits the local economy, and means less traffic, noise and pollution in our local communities.”

Jools Townsend, chief executive of the Association of Community Rail Partnerships, said: “We are excited to launch Scenic Rail Britain today with help from the Sussex Community Rail Partnership. This campaign is all about people explore our beautiful countryside and fascinating heritage through green, scenic and non-stressful travel. Many people don’t realise how easy it is to explore Britain’s stunning landscapes, pretty villages and historic sites by rail – and making use of our wonderful, often little-known, ‘community rail’ lines is a great way to do this. Anyone thinking of making a trip, or wanting to find out more about what’s on their doorstep, can check out scenicrailbritain.com, for practical tips, itineraries and inspiration.”


Southeastern rail passengers are facing higher fares on off peak journeys from the end of the month.

The rail operator is implementing increases of 3.4% or 10p, whichever is the greatest from May 21 2017.  It passengers have not been informed of the increase however the company said it did not “routinely announce fare rises”Southeastern Train

Campaigners described the move as “an appallingly high-handed way to treat passengers”.

About 640,000 journeys are currently made on 1,900 Southeastern trains every weekday.

Lianna Etkind of the Campaign for Better Transport said: “It’s bad enough that Southeastern passengers have had to put up with years of government-imposed peak fare rises while wages stagnate, but more back-door fare increase are unacceptable.

“We’re urging passengers to respond to the current Southeastern franchise consultation and tell the government that enough is enough, and passengers deserve proper value for money on their journeys.”

The rail company’s contract fro the running of the service expires in December next year.

Passengers in South-East London, Kent and East Sussex are being asked to give their views on the next franchise blue-print.

One option in the Department for Transport Consultation is a reduction in the number of trains calling at less well-used stations.

Under the proposals first-class travel could also be withdrawn.

The Department for Transport Consultation closes on 23 May 2017.

Empress coaches are delighted that after the recent launch of their 20 seat classic coach its first official booking has just taken place.empress-classic-coach

It was hired by a visiting group for a sightseeing tour of Hastings wonderful sights and created much local interest as it toured the local area sowing the best of the 1066 country.

It is available to hire for that special occasion throughout the year, for further details on this 1960’s iconic Bedford coach call Empress on 01424 430621 or visit their new website on www.empresscoaches.com


The Marshlink Community Rail Partnership (‘CRP’), part of the Sussex Community Rail Partnership, held its AGM in Rye town hall last Friday (25th November).

Presentations were made by Kevin Barry, the line’s development officer, and guest speakers Andy Harrowell, Southern’s community investment and corporate social responsibility manager, Fiona Dodge and Alan Davies, from the Canterbury Oast Trust, and Amber Rudd MP.

Kevin Boorman, chair of the CRP, said :- “It was an extremely positive meeting, despite the problems the Marshlink has suffered over recent months because of industrial action.

“Alan and Fiona introduced the work of the Canterbury Oast Trust, which has 160 students with learning and physical disabilities. They do fantastic work, and have recently become one of our partners, and have provided the flower tubs on Ashford station.

“We were also pleased that our local MP, Amber Rudd, was able to join us. She acknowledged the difficulties the line has experienced over recent months, and renewed her commitment to do a\l she could to bring high speed rail across the marsh to Hastings and Bexhill.”

“I would like to pay particular tribute to Kevin Barry, the line’s development officer based at Rye. Kevin has worked tirelessly to improve station partnerships, and we have him to thank for a whole range of initiatives, from the flower tubs at Ashford through the Captain Pugwash exhibition at rye, the photographic exhibitions at Bexhill, and so much more.

“Kevin is well supported by volunteers, and I would like to pay tribute to their work too. The Marshlink is a great example of true partnership, or should I say partnerships, which really benefits the line, those who travel along it, and the communities it serves.”

Visitors travelling to Battle and Hastings for the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings next month are being urged to travel by train.

Kevin Boorman, 1066 Country Marketing manager, explained :- “There is a huge amount going on in Battle and Hastings over the anniversary weekend of 14th/15th/16th October, and we would encourage visitors to travel by train to enjoy these. These include the various ‘Concorde 1066’ events in Battle on Friday 14th October, the battle re-enactment at Battle over the weekend of 15th/16th October, and many events in Hastings on Saturday 15th October which will include two large processions around the town, and extensive road closures.

“The number of people likely to be travelling to these events, particularly over the weekend, means that the roads are likely to be extremely busy. And the seafront closure in Hastings during the Saturday afternoon and evening will add to the congestion.

“We have been working with southeastern who are changing their timetable over the weekend of 15th/16th October so that all trains stop at all stations between Tonbridge and Hastings. This means that all of the stations, including Frant, Stonegate, Etchingham, Robertsbridge, Crowhurst and West St Leonards, will get a half hourly service throughout the day and evening on Saturday 15th October, and during the day on Sunday 16th October. And additional trains will run late Saturday evening from Hastings at 2239 and 2309 calling at all stations to Tonbridge too, for those who want to come into Hastings to enjoy our torchlight procession, bonfire and fireworks.

“We are very grateful to southeastern for accommodating our request, which will hopefully encourage many visitors from further away to park at Hastings line stations near the A21 and continue their journey to Battle and/or Hastings by train.”

Southeastern’s train services director, Richard Dean said: “We are really pleased to support the local communities in the Hastings and Battle area by providing additional services over the weekend for passengers to travel to the great events taking place. We know they have been very well attended before and we wish them every success this year round marking such a significant anniversary.”


For holiday makers at the moment it seems that more and more people are no longer booking a week in the sun and choosing to pack up their suitcases and come to Hastings and enjoy what our lovely local town has to offer. Hastings-1

This week Hastings has once again had another brilliant article written by Lucy in her travel blog On The Luce.

Check out the full article here


Five schools across Hastings took part in the May Walk to School Week challenge, organised for local schools by Hastings Borough council’s Active Hastings team.

During May 400,000 pupils across England, Scotland and Wales swapped their usual school run car journey on four wheels for two feet during the week-long challenge.

Cllr Dawn Poole the council’s lead member for leisure said:

“The health of young people in Hastings is really important. Walking to school is a great way to get the daily exercise young people need and this combined with fresh air makes pupils more alert and ready to learn in class.

“We are trying to encourage as many families as possible to include walking to school as part of their weekly exercise regime and it will also help to relieve traffic congestion that so many schools experience.

“Ore Village Primary Academy did really well in the walk to school challenge with the highest uptake of children walking to school for the week 16 – 20 May. Our congratulations go to them for such a great achievement – well done!”

The pupils were presented with a special Walk to School week trophy in their assembly (20 June) and five free lunchtime activities to be delivered by Active Hastings.

Active Hastings are encouraging schools to work with Living Streets and their WOW campaign; Walk Once a Week. WOW rewards primary school pupils who walk to school at least once a week with a monthly collectable badge. The badges are designed by pupils and are made from recycled yoghurt pots!

It’s fun and easy to join the WOW campaign and only takes a few minutes of a teacher’s day to make a big difference, logging journeys and awarding badges.

To find out more about walking to school contact Alan Foster, Active Hastings afoster@hastings.gov.uk


With the weather slowly heating up and hopefully a lovely Summer on its way for Hastings, it seems that lots of tourists are visiting our local town.  Taking a stroll along the pier, visiting some of the restaurants and booking into hotels.  It seem’s that everyone wants to come and see what’s new or what’s going on at the moment, putting Hastings in the press once again and showing people how lovely it is to live here.

Lottie Smith from Rough Guides has visited Hastings to find out what makes Hastings one of Britain’s best beach breaks.Hastings

Check out the full article here

Once again Hastings is in the press this week with another article from the Independent.

Hastings Old Town has been described at the cool place of the day, with The Stade, the Jerwood Gallery, the Castle and of course the brand new pier.

Check out the full article here


George Street

Hastings really does seem like the place to live at the moment.  Already this year the town has seen the opening of the new skatepark Source. Madness front man Suggs visiting the pier to lay down the last plank and finally  the reopening of the pier last month, not to mention another successful May Day Bank Holiday.Hastings Pier

With more exciting things happening to our seaside town, it seems that finally Hastings is becoming the place where everyone wants to be and what more and more people are talking about.

The Express have recently written a brilliant article on Hastings, Hip and happening: Hastings is the new Shoreditch on-Sea

Check out the full article here