Pressure is on Eurostar

RAIL campaigners Bexhill Rail Action Group (BRAG) are urging local residents to keep up the ongoing battle to maintain Eurostar train services from nearby Ashford International by signing an online petition on the Downing Street Website.

The petition, which is sponsored by the Marshlink Action Group based in Rye, calls on the Prime Minister to require Eurostar to retain a direct rail service between Ashford and Brussels.

Under Eurostar's plans, Ashford will lose all its services to Brussels and retain only three services a day to Paris.

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Most trains will instead call at a new station at Ebbsfleet near Dartford.

BRAG is concerned that the new station, as well as being 50 miles in the wrong direction, is accessible solely by road.

In contrast Bexhill residents can travel directly to Ashford by train in less than an hour.

BRAG Chairman Brian Hord said: "We fully support this initiative by our friends in the Marshlink Action Group.

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Eurostar's proposals are a kick in the teeth for regeneration plans throughout both Hastings and Rother and East Kent. Furthermore, Ebbsfleet is extremely environmentally unfriendly, dependent as it is on the M25 for access. And, although it will have parking spaces for up to 9000 cars, it has no connection to the domestic rail network.

"All efforts to persuade Eurostar to think again, by the regions MPs, MEPs and local authorities, have so far met with complete intransigence.

It is now down to the government to force the company to face up to it's responsibilities

"Eurostar needs to remember that a large amount of public money went into the construction not just of Ashford International, but the high speed line and the trains themselves."

The petition can be accessed via the following link:

For further information about Bexhill Rail Action Group, please email [email protected]

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