As we face a Climate Emergency, why is it still so hard and expensive to use Eurostar-the greenest way to travel to and from Europe? Eurostar has been continually ” strangled” ever since its birth when the first train ran through the Channel Tunnel in November 1994. The responsibility for all this clearly lies with the UK Government. This is mainly due to their ideological obsession of privatising all major infrastructure projects. How has this happened ? 1 – The track access charges per kilometer that Eurostar has to pay to the owners of the Channel Tunnel have always been set much higher than the average across Europe. 2 – The need for all passengers to go through airport style
Kent must no longer be cut off from the High Speed European Rail Network. As Eurostar is now running a very busy full service from London St Pancras, it is now high time they re-opened Ashford International, which has regular interval local train connections to most parts of Kent. Opening up Ashford will help to relieve the pressure on the terminal at St Pancras, which has been struggling to deal with the large number of passengers having to go through the extra Post-Brexit border controls.
At last – Eurostar our only direct rail link to Europe is now running more frequent services, even if the fares on offer are not as cheap as before the pandemic. There are now around 10 services/daily to Paris, 3-4 to Brussels & Lille and 2 to Amsterdam. Ideally there should be an hourly service to Paris and at least one train every 2 hours to Brussels to make it easy to connect into other services to/from Paris & Brussels. We now look forward to Eurostar restoring services at Ashford International.
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
Please sign this petition which asks the UK Government to give Eurostar the same financial support as given to the airlines. See https://www.change.org/p/grant-shapps-ensure-we-have-a-green-link-to-europe-support-eurostar-fdef3b98-c843-40c4-9060-0d1dc81fbb5f