Bring Back Eurostar Campaign
What the council is doing
The council has continued to campaign for the return of Eurostar services to Ashford.
We are in regular dialogue with Eurostar, and we will continue to work with partners, including Kent County Council, neighbouring councils, our MP Damian Green, Government and High Speed One, to ensure services at Ashford International Station return.
With the valuable support of local residents and businesses across the county, we will continue our fight and call on the Government to intervene in order to maintain the prosperity of the borough and the wider East Kent region.
Cllr Noel Ovenden – Leader of Ashford Borough Council
“The services at Ashford International Station are not only important for existing businesses and travellers, they are also important for our future commercial investments. There was a public outcry when Eurostar made their initial announcement and the local strength of feeling is clearly reflected by recent meetings and the petition that has been launched, which we welcome.
“The prospect that Eurostar are not likely to return anytime soon represents a real challenge for those residents and businesses that rely on the service, and those that work locally. Ashford is an important economic driver for not only Kent and the East Kent region, but also an important international access point to Europe.
“Significant investment has been made over the last 25 years in infrastructure at Ashford International Station to ensure international services are able to operate to support business and leisure travel to Europe. It is imperative that the benefits of this investment are realised through services being returned to support the economy of Kent and the UK.
“We will not give up on this and will continue to make the case for their return, as soon as its commercially viable. International rail services provide an alternative to travelling by road or air. Not only is it a much more sustainable mode of transport, it also makes sense from an economical point of view too.”
Sign the petition
A petition has been set up by local residents and currently has over 48,000 signatures.
“We are a group of proud Ashfordians who loved and benefited from the Eurostar servicing in Ashford and Ebbsfleet to other European cities. In 2020 Eurostar dropped its service to Ashford and Ebbsfleet International stations because of the pandemic and it has never resumed, although it still runs to and from London St Pancras.
“We are on a mission to bring it back and we need your help. If you would like the Eurostar servicing at our Kent International stations again please sign the online petition. If you would like to get more involved, share any information or help in any way please email firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Towards the end of last year business and trade leaders were asked for their views on how international rail services to Europe stopping in Kent, have affected firms. The survey had a good level of responses, with more than 600 responses from businesses across the county and beyond.
The survey has now closed and the results will be shared in due course.