MP Nick Herbert is pushing for a new rail link that would enable trains to turn east below Arundel, providing a direct link between Horsham and Worthing.
Mr Herbert, MP for Arundel and South Downs, has been appointed President of the West Sussex Rail Users Association (WSRUA).
The voluntary group invited the local MP to take up the role in their Association because of his work to improve local rail journeys and as a regular user of the local services.
The West Sussex Rail Users Association was established to be a unified voice that represents the interests of rail users in West Sussex to ensure their needs are understood and met.
The Association has been campaigning for increased investment and significant improvements in rail services for West Sussex. It also works with the public transport sector and local authorities to establish an integrated public transport in the County.
Mr Herbert has urged Network Rail to consider constructing the Arundel Chord, a short piece of track that would link Horsham to Worthing (passengers currently have to change at Barnham or take other routes).
Following the MP’s request, Network Rail has included the Arundel Chord in a broader Route Study which will be complete by the end of this year. The final document is expected early next year.
Michael Cover, Chairman of the West Sussex Rail Users Association said: “We are delighted to welcome Nick Herbert MP as our new President. It is a great honour that Nick has been able to take up this role and we very much look forward to working with him and other stakeholders, including the West Sussex County Council, to achieve better connectivity and faster trains for rail users up and down the Arun Valley and along the West Coastway.”
Nick Herbert said: “Many of my constituents rely on the local rail service and I constantly raise issues on their behalf and press for improvements. We have recently seen better signalling installed on the Arun Valley line, and the major upgrade underway at London Bridge will make a huge difference to services in the future, but there are many ongoing issues about punctuality, cleanliness of trains and parking at the stations like Pulborough that need to be addressed.
“I was delighted to be invited to become President of the West Sussex Rail Users Association and I look forward to working with and supporting them to represent the interests of rail users.”
What other changes need to be made on the Arun Valley line? Add your comments below.