Ex­tra cost to peo­ple ‘is very wor­ry­ing’

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Front Page -

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.

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