MP's upgrade plea over Brighton to Ashford rail line

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A Sussex MP has urged the government to upgrade a train line into Kent because of a rise in passengers.

Conservative Hastings and Rye MP Amber Rudd asked Transport Minister Theresa Villiers in the House of Commons to look at the Brighton to Ashford route.

Ms Rudd said an upgrade would increase capacity and improve the quality of travel for people using the line.

But Ms Villiers said it would be an expensive project and hard to justify in light of passenger usage.

She added: "But I am always prepared to keep an open mind on this as something to consider for the future."

A train service run by Southern Trains linking Ashford International in Kent with Brighton in Sussex was launched in December 2005.

It enables people along the East Sussex coast to reach the Kent station directly instead of having to change trains.

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