Ashford will see its business and tourism increase when Eurostar launches a new direct service to the south of France from UK stations from 1 May.
The rail company will be offering high speed services direct from Ashford to Lyon, Avignon and Marseille up to five times a week. It means passengers will be able to travel from Ashford to France’s three largest cities – Paris, Marseille and Lyon – as well as Lille.
Journey times from Ashford to Lyon is 4hrs 5mins with return fares starting from £89 per person, and to Avignon it is 5hrs 13mins and to Marseille it’s 5hrs 51mins with return fares starting from £99 return.
A recent study places Ashford International Station in the top 6% of busy stations in the UK, with over 3.3 million domestic passengers a year.
Ashford town centre and station is easily accessible from the M20 and design work is starting this year on the much anticipated Junction 10a, which is expected to spur investment into new residential and commercial developments in south Ashford.
These excellent links were acknowledged recently in a perception study of developers, investors, property experts and businesses, who said that connectivity and easy access to millions of consumers across Europe has helped make Ashford the ‘preferred place for business in Kent’.
Jo James, Chief Executive of Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce, which is based in Ashford, says: “This new Eurostar service represents a huge boost to businesses in Ashford, both for those who already trade in France and also those looking to expand their customer base on the Continent. We also anticipate an extremely positive impact on inbound tourism to Kent.”
Andrew Osborne, Economic Development Manager at Ashford Borough Council, said the expanded rail services would provide greater opportunities for leisure and business travellers, boost local tourism and leisure industries, and make Ashford even more attractive as a business location for companies trading with France.”
For more information or to book Eurostar tickets visit www.eurostar.com or call the contact centre on 03432 186186. For more information about Ashford, visit www.ashfordfor.com
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