130 Vale Road, Tonbridge, Kent, TN9 1SP - tom.tugendhat.mp@parliament.uk - 01732 441563

Newspaper Columns

KM Column - M20 and Maidstone East Line - 11 April 2019

The M20 smart motorway works are now well on their way to being completed. But over recent weeks the motorway has suffered from severe congestion in the morning rush hour, as the works finish at 6am. This does not give enough time for the traffic to get back to normal, and as such, we’ve all been delayed getting to work and school. That is why I joined neighbouring MPs Helen Grant, Helen Whately and Tracey Crouch and wrote to Highways England to ask them to reopen the motorway earlier so traffic can get moving. I am very pleased to say that they have now responded and said that they will be re-opening the road at 4.30am. This is great news for us all, and I hope it will result in less congestion and delays. We’ve been well supported by local schools and bus companies and I’m grateful for their support.

And there is also good news for the Maidstone East line. Southeastern have confirmed that they have made small changes to their timetable from May 2019, and we will now be able to travel quicker between Maidstone East and London Victoria on many of the trains. I know that many people were hoping for more - and I’m still pressing for the through trains and City services we need - but this small victory shows we’re making progress. I am continuing to work to get Thameslink to run a train on the Maidstone East line to the City and will let you know when I have made further progress.

Georgie Welford