It will soon be 3 years before Kent lost its’ direct Eurostar services from Ashford and Ebbsfleet with no sign of them returning anytime soon. Since then, Kent residents have had to double back to London St Pancras and pay extra just to take a train across the channel to Europe. We are now asking Eurostar to offer free or reduced fares on the connecting HS1 services from Ashford International & Ebbsfleet to St Pancras run by South Eastern Trains. In the meantime, the choice of cross channel ferry services from Dover to Calais for foot passengers is substantially reduced. DFDS no longer take foot passengers on any of their services and P & O have limited foot passengers to
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.
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