Lower fares will pay div­i­dends

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Opinion -

AT LAST Kent County Coun­cil has re­alised the pro­posed fares for the new high-speed train ser­vice to Lon­don will put peo­ple off us­ing the new ser­vice. In the week af­ter it was an­nounced com­muters in Kent and the South East al­ready pay the high­est fares in Europe, up to 100 per cent more for sim­i­lar ser­vices, the penny has fi­nally dropped. Ask­ing com­muters to pay 30 per cent more on top of Europe’s high­est fares would be the kiss of death for the project. It is mad­ness. If KCC wants Kent to de­velop as the place to live for Lon­don’s com­muters, they must firstly press South­east­ern Trains for a 30 per cent re­duc­tion in the stan­dard ser­vice fares and price the high-speed ser­vice at the cur­rent rate. You would then get many peo­ple de­cid­ing to move house from the Lon­don sub­urbs to com­mute from Kent, to en­joy the bet­ter qual­ity of life here and Kent would ben­e­fit from a large in­flux of em­ployed work­ers. Towns like Rams­gate and Folke­stone would see their re­gen­er­a­tion ac­cel­er­ate and the whole re­gion would be more pros­per­ous. If KCC in­vested to sup­port the new ser­vices, it would be far more ben­e­fi­cial to the peo­ple of Kent than other re­cent in­vest­ments. John Bai­ley, Willes­bor­ough Lees, Ash­ford.

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