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Plans to close Folkestone Harbour branch line

Network Rail has announced that it proposes to close the Folkestone Harbour branch line and Folkestone Harbour station.

The line hasn't been used by passenger services as part of the national rail network since 2001 and only chartered services have operated in recent years.

An assessment by Network Rail concluded it would not be financially appropriate or responsible to continue to maintain it.

The recommendation covers the railway line between Folkestone East Junction and Folkestone Harbour and Folkestone Harbour station and that they close at the earliest opportunity.

We have carried out an extensive assessment of the Folkestone Harbour branch line, taking all aspects into consideration. We feel it would be irresponsible of us to continue to maintain this unused line, largely at the taxpayers’ expense, at a time when we are doing all we can to make the rest of our business more efficient. The consultation is an opportunity to comment on these proposals and ensure that all opinions are taken into consideration before a final decision is made.”

– Fiona Taylor, Network Rail’s route managing director for Kent

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Harbour dispute talks planned for Monday

Talks will be held on Monday in a bid to resolve the new contract dispute at Portsmouth International Port.

In a joint statement, Portsmouth City Council and Unite said: “After the union's overwhelming industrial action ballot in favour of strike action, officials from Unite and Portsmouth Port management met yesterday and have agreed to meet on Monday to commence negotiations to resolve the dispute.”

An overtime ban by the 18 quay assistants at the centre of the dispute is due to start at midnight on Monday until further notice unless the talks are fruitful.

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