Lower fares will pay dividends
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.