Trains will soon get even busier
PLANS to build thousands of new homes in Kent could cause misery for commuters who use Paddock Wood train station, it has been claimed.
A new 6,000-home development is being considered in Ashford, but rail campaigners fear severe overcrowding if it is approved.
John Reynolds, vice-chairman of the Tonbridge Line Commuters, said peak services on the Ashford to London line were already at full capacity.
He said: "I think it's generally accepted that Ashford is going to expand greatly. We consider there is not enough room on trains already and have been pointing this out to Southeastern and the Department of Transport for a long time."
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If the scheme is given the green light, more than half the new homes could be built within a decade. Campaigners opposed to the plans have claimed a lack of jobs will force thousands of new residents to commute on trains to London.
Town councillor Ron Goodman added concerns that proposals for extra housing in parts of East Kent, as well as Paddock Wood and surrounding villages, would make life impossible for rail passengers.
A Southeastern spokesman said its strategy for the future took into consideration the "continuing development of the Ashford and Thames Gateway areas, with new homes and businesses expected".