WATCH ITV News Meridian's Tony Green reporting from Tenterden.
A long held dream to connect the Kent and East Sussex Railway to the main line at Roberstbridge has taken a step closer to becoming a reality after the Secretary of State for Transport agreed an order that will allow its reinstatement.
The decision follows a public inquiry held in 2021. More than a thousand people had objected to extending the Kent and East Sussex Railway from Bodiam to Robertsbridge. Many were concerned about the impact of three new level crossings, including one over the A21 - part of the strategic road network.
National Highways withdrew their original objection last year. Evidence put forward at the public inquiry suggested that delays caused by the new level crossings would not be as long as some had feared.
Rother Valley Railway chairman Gardner Crawley said: "This decision allows us to reinstate the connection at Bodiam, meaning it will once again be possible to travel all the way from Tenterden to Robertsbridge, passing through beautiful countryside and taking in historic attractions such as Bodiam Castle.
"Robertsbridge’s link with London stations means this reinstatement of the line is sure tohave significant economic benefits and boost tourism along the length of the Kent & East Sussex Railway – we are delighted with the decision."
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