New Eurostar route strengthens town’s connections to Continent
Train firm announces plans for direct route to three stops in south of France
Eurostar has confirmed its plans to expand its service to France.
The train company will launch a new direct route to three stops in the south of France from Ashford next year, strengthening the town’s high-speed connections to the Continent.
From May 1, passengers will be able to travel direct from Ashford International Station to Lyon, Avignon and Marseille up to five times a week.
The return journeys will be semi-direct and will see a necessary change in Lille, due to immigration issues.
The announcement means Ashford will boast direct services to France’s three largest cities – Paris, Marseille and Lyon – as well as Lille.
Ashford Borough Council leader Cllr Gerry Clarkson said: “This is extremely positive news and reinforces the strategic importance of Ashford International Station as a driver for future prosperity within the borough.”
Cllr Clarskon added the expansion of services would provide greater opportunities for leisure and business travellers, boost local tourism, and make Ashford even more attractive as a business location for companies trading with France.
The news comes hot on the heels of recent rail use figures which place Ashford International in the top 6% of the busiest stations in Britain, with over 3.3 million domestic passengers a year.
Plans for the new services were first revealed in the KE last month after Eurostar’s head of public Affairs, Pierre Delalande outlined the proposals at a council transport meeting.
Cllr Clarkson added: “Ashford’s location is one of its most significant assets and the fact that it is incredibly well connected and accessible makes it a vibrant hub for businesses.”
Further details about the frequency and journey times of the new Eurostar service to Marseille are expected to be released later this year, with tickets going on sale in December.
For more information about Eurostar services from Ashford and to plan your journey, visit www.eurostar.com
Ashford Council leader Cllr Gerry Clarkson welcomed Eurostar’s announcement to expand destinations from Ashford, which will include Marseilles, bottom right