An update on Thameslink services to Maidstone East

I'm disappointed that plans to restore Maidstone's direct connection to the City of London have been delayed again.

Thameslink services to Maidstone East were supposed to start in December but have been pushed back because of fears from Ministers that there was a "significant risk of disruption".

Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps MP, said that one of the key steps to restoring public trust in our rail network is restoring passengers' trusts that their trains will run on time. He stressed that any timetable changes must be deliverable, and in this case the Department were not convinced that this could happen by December.

This is so frustrating for people in Maidstone, who have already had to put up with one delay to the start of these services.

The Transport Secretary said he “remains committed to ensuring that the rail industry delivers a reliable all-day Thameslink service for passengers in Maidstone as soon as possible”.

I will be working hard with other Kent MPs to make sure there are no more delays. Passengers need certainty. I will be raising this with Transport Ministers to make sure the views of people in Maidstone are understood by people in Whitehall.