Kent is the closest UK region to Europe. Since the Covid outbreak in Spring 2020, when Eurostar stopped serving Ashford and Ebbsfleet, there has been no direct rail link to France & beyond. You cannot even take a train and ferry via Dover and Calais, as the ferry companies now refuse to accept foot passengers and no longer run connecting buses between the ports and the train stations. Unless you drive a car, you are forced to travel to London & back adding extra time and cost to your journey. Given the Climate Emergency it is ridiculous that the low carbon travel option is not available for Kent residents.

One interim solution could be for South-east Trains to sponsor a coach service from Ashford International Station to Calais Ville station using the Eurotunnel Shuttle service. This would give connections from many towns in Kent into local and high-speed trains from Calais into France. Just a little bit of Government intervention is needed from the Department of Transport to kick start this solution – as they effectively “own” South-East Trains.

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