Smell the coffee, ladies!

Just what world do the likes of Amber Rudd MP and Sally Ann Hart live in?

For a council tourism chief to claim that extending the Kent & East Sussex Railway into Robertsbridge will have a negative effect on tourism (News, issue 244) shows how totally out of touch they are with reality.

I visit Hastings quite often and like the place. However, it needs to attract many more visitors and one thing guaranteed to do this is the close proximity of a steam heritage railway.

Hunslet Austerity 0-6-0ST No. 23 Holman F Stephens crosses a Kent & East Sussex Railway level crossing on September 3, 2014. Current plans involve the KESR being extended westwards to join sister line the Rother Valley Railway, with a level crossing over the A21 trunk road being a source of controversy. However, such a link could see visitors and specials from London travelling by rail all the way to Bodiam Castle and Tenterden, giving a major tourism boost to the Kent town, just as the new Chinnor & Princes Risborough main line interchange is almost certain to bring multiple benefits to its area – Editor. ROBIN JONES

These ladies should take some time to talk to tradespeople in places like Bridgnorth on the Severn Valley Railway to get a true picture.

Oh, and I’m sure it will be news to readers, especially those who are actively involved in any preservation movement, that our railways are, quote, “hobby projects for a group of privately funded railway enthusiasts”!!

If only it were that simple!

Neil Ewart, email

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