Fears over cost of fast train links

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Opinion - by Sarah Mar­shall smar­shall@thek­m­group.co.uk

KENT County Coun­cil fears high fares could out­weigh the ben­e­fits of high speeds – and put the growth of Ash­ford and the re­gen­er­a­tion of Folke­stone at risk.

KCC is con­cerned that peo­ple will not move from Lon­don to east Kent if they have to pay too much to com­mute into the cap­i­tal.

Next Tues­day KCC’s trans­port board will dis­cuss the in­tro­duc­tion of the high speed trains and the changes to ex­ist­ing ser­vices.

Train op­er­a­tor South­east­ern’s new timetable is due to start on De­cem­ber 13 though it has been sug­gested that high speed trains could be on track sooner.

Pas­sen­gers have al­ready raised con­cerns that tick­ets for high speed trains could cost up to 30 per cent more.

The county coun­cil is wor­ried that th­ese in­creases along with yearly price rises – which for trav­ellers from Ash­ford and Folke­stone jumped by more than 9 per cent this year – will negate the sav­ings in terms of time.

The re­port be­ing pre­sented to trans­port board mem­bers says: “The county coun­cil will press for lower in­tro­duc­tory fares to en­sure pas­sen­gers do take ad­van­tage of th­ese ser­vices.”

KCC would also like to see – and is ex­plor­ing – the pos­si­bil­i­ties of ex­tend­ing Lon­don’s Oys­ter Card scheme into Kent.

South­east­ern’s 395 high speed trains are ready for action at Ash­ford

The high-speed Hi­tachi trains which are set to be in­tro­duced on Kent rail lines in 2009

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.