‘Ore-some’ leap in station usage

Almost a quarter-million rail journeys started or ended at Ore station in 2018/19, according to the latest official estimates of station usage from the Office of Rail and Road. 

The 240,652 station entries and exits in the year to March 31st 2019 represent an annual increase of nearly 40 per cent.

The Marshlink station is a vital public service for communities on the east side of Hastings, including the nearby Ore Valley campus of East Sussex College Hastings.  It now has direct trains to and from Ashford every hour every day, and Hastings, Bexhill and Eastbourne three times an hour Mondays to Saturdays and twice-hourly on Sundays.

Ore Transport Group spokesman Trevor Davies said: “I would wish to thank GTR/Southern for their confidence in improving the Marshlink train service at Ore to run all-day/every day, and the Sussex Community Rail Partnership for their support in helping to improve the appearance of our station, and not forgetting our passengers who have been encouraged to use the train! 

“We have been told recently that Southeastern will be continuing their early-morning trains into London, so a good all-round service is available.

John Spencer, Carly Welch, Anna Beck, Amber Rudd, Kevin Boorman and Trevor Davies at Ore station with some pupils from Baird Academy, with their artwork (Pic by Harri Boorman)

“Across the East Coastway route to the east of Eastbourne the increased frequency of trains since the May 2018 timetable changes has seen almost half a million more rail journeys being made, a great result.”

Kevin Boorman, chair of the Marshlink Community Rail Partnership, part of Sussex Community Rail Partnership, added: “It is fantastic to see how much more use is being made of Ore station now. It is testament to the good work done by local rail user groups and Southern, who increased the frequency of the trains east of Eastbourne and reinstated a regular Marshlink service to Ore, and of course to Trevor who has made Ore station a much more attractive and pleasant place to travel from and to.

“Community Rail Partnerships can make a real difference to local communities, as these figures show.  And, of course, the environment benefits too, as travelling by train is much more ‘green’ than travelling by car.”

Roger Blake, Vice-Chair of London & South East branch of Railfuture, to which Ore Transport Group is affiliated, commented: “The leap in usage is a vote of confidence by local residents and visitors around Ore in their local train service.  It just goes to show what local activism can achieve when done in partnership with others, be it the train operator, Sussex CRP, Railfuture, and as a member of the Hastings & Rother Rail Users Alliance.”

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