Letter: Support for our Horsham district village railway stations

Pulborough Railway Station. SUS-151120-124221001
Pulborough Railway Station. SUS-151120-124221001

I am writing to support the retention of Amberley station (‘Villagers plead: ‘Save our railway services’, County Times South Downs edition July 27).

And to suggest ways of making country stations more thriving.

Pulborough railway station had the presence of a taxi office and a cafe until recently.

It was a great convenience for passengers and made rail travel more attractive.

However, high rents have driven out the taxi office and its cafe and there is less attraction for people to visit West Sussex.

The way forward is for the railway to give taxis and cafes rent free agreements at Pulbough and Amberley in return for more investment in their services. Such a situation can only be win-win.

High rents work in big London stations but for country stations a different system is needed and rent-free agreements in return for more investment in the level of service is surely an innovative solution.

And the presence of more staff on stations reassures passengers.

Let’s just give this idea a temporary try at Pulborough and Amberley stations.

If I may conclude on a national issue. Normal car engines are ever cleaner and greener, cost effective and efficient and can only get more so.

However they are to be set aside for the unknown quantity of electric cars.

However where electric actually works, like on the railways, key electrification schemes get cancelled.

A more efficient and plentiful railway service is vital for encouraging both freight and passengers to switch from road to rail.

Electrification schemes also produces that ‘sparks effect’ - namely more investment in the private sector economies in the areas of the railways.

John Barstow

The Fleet, Fittleworth