Extra cost to people ‘is very worrying’
THE huge proposed fares increase has been attacked by councillors.
The Ashford to London journey time will fall from 83 to 37 minutes but councillors fear the fares will rise by as much as 33 per cent.
Cllr Bernard Heyes (Con), told a joint transportation board meeting: “The extra cost to people in Ashford to get to London is very worrying. I think 33 per cent is excessive.”
The meeting had been discussing improvements to Ashford International Station in time for the start of the High Speed 1 service next December.
Ashford Borough Council leader Cllr Paul Clokie (Con) said: “We have to look into how much this is going to cost and stop messing about with a pretty station.”
Purpose-built Class 395 trains will travel at 140mph. The Folkestone to London time, for example, will be cut from 98 minutes to 63.
Plans for Ashford station to prepare for this include improvements in passenger waiting areas, cafes and toilets, plus bus and taxi waiting areas and an enlarged booking hall. There will also be double the number of cycle storage racks and a new signing system linking the station with the town.