'Unanimous approval' for Rother Valley extension

Local councillors have unanimously approved the Rother Valley Railway’s plans to reconnect the Kent & East Sussex Railway to the main line at Robertsbridge.

Visiting from the Kent & East Sussex Railway, ‘Terrier’ 0-6-0T No. 32670 completes the scene at the Rother Valley Railway’s new Robertsbridge Junction station on September 20 2013. TOBY JENNINGS

Visiting from the Kent & East Sussex Railway, ‘Terrier’ 0-6-0T No. 32670 completes the scene at the Rother Valley Railway’s new Robertsbridge Junction station on September 20 2013. TOBY JENNINGS

At a meeting on March 16, all 15 members of the Rother District Council (RDC) Planning Committee voted for the RVR’s planning application to reinstate the missing two miles of the railway, between Northbridge Street and Junction Road.

This will fill the gap between the two sections already laid eastwards from Robertsbridge and west from Bodiam. When complete, the line will be operated by the KESR – which will then be 13½ miles long in total, from Tenterden to Robertsbridge.

Planning approval clears the way for the RVR to apply to Parliament for a Transport & Works Act Order (TWAO), giving statutory powers to rebuild the line.

RVR Press Officer Mark Yonge commented: “For it to be unanimously approved shows the strength of support for the project.”

The main line connection at Robertsbridge was officially opened by Network Rail Chairman Sir Peter Hendy on December 6 2016 (SR462).