Eurostar - South of France
Eurostar - South of France
Ashford’s rail connections to the Continent have been boosted today (1 May) with the launch of Eurostar’s new direct service to the south of France. Passengers can now travel direct from London St Pancras and Ashford to Lyon, Avignon and Marseille up to five times a week. It means Ashford will offer direct services to France’s three largest cities – Paris, Marseille and Lyon – plus Lille.
The launch is a boost to Ashford’s rail, road, sea and air connections to London, the rest of the UK and Europe. It already boasts a high-speed domestic rail service from Ashford International Station to St Pancras, which takes 38 minutes, while daily direct Eurostar connections mean that Lille is under an hour away, Brussels can be reached in 90 minutes and Paris in less than two hours.
Recent figures place Ashford International in the top 6% of busy stations in Britain, with 3.3 million domestic passengers a year. The town is easily accessible from the M20 and design work is starting soon on the long-awaited Junction 10a to provide extra capacity. London Ashford Airport, which embarks on a multi-million-pound runway extension this year to open up new air routes to Europe, is 20 minutes away.
These excellent links were recently hailed in a Locate in Kent survey of developers, investors and businesses, who said that connectivity and easy access to 360 million consumers across Europe has helped make Ashford the ‘preferred place for business in Kent’.
Andrew Osborne, Economic Development Manager at Ashford Borough Council, said the expanded rail services will 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 launch reinforces the strategic importance of Ashford International Station as a driver for future prosperity within the borough. 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. The new service represents a huge boost to businesses in Ashford, both for those who already trade in France and those looking to expand their customer base on the Continent.”
Journey time from Ashford to Lyon is 4hrs 5mins, to Avignon it’s 5hrs 13mins and to Marseille it’s 5hrs 51mins. Return fares start from £89 per person for Lyon and £99 return for Avignon and Marseille.
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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