Com­pe­ti­tion may be harder to ig­nore

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - OPINION -

CLAIMS that an­other train com­pany is con­sid­er­ing op­er­at­ing con­ti­nen­tal ser­vices from Ash­ford In­ter­na­tional Sta­tion have re­ceived some­thing of a mixed re­ac­tion in the town. Edith Rob­son, the for­mer Ash­ford teacher who has cam­paigned tire­lessly to make Eurostar re­verse its de­ci­sion to cut ser­vices from the sta­tion, be­lieves the ap­par­ent in­ter­est from Air France-KLM should be treated with cau­tion and has dis­missed the re­ports as a smoke­screen. Bor­ough coun­cil leader Paul Clokie and Ash­ford MP Damian Green have been more pos­i­tive about the idea. Cer­tainly, any­thing that will save Ash­ford In­ter­na­tional from be­com­ing lit­tle more than a white ele­phant and a sym­bol of wasted op­por­tu­nity for the town de­serves to be given ev­ery chance. If Eurostar is de­ter­mined to press ahead with its pro­posed cuts – as ap­pears to be the case – any­thing which might bring new life to the in­ter­na­tional sta­tion is surely to be wel­comed. Eurostar says it would wel­come com­pe­ti­tion, ei­ther now or in the fu­ture. If such a prospect leads the com­pany to re­think its shaky com­mit­ment to the town, that can only be a good thing. It might be pre­pared to ig­nore an 8,000-name pe­ti­tion but a po­ten­tial dent in prof­its might prove more sober­ing.

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