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Last Updated: Thursday, 16 November 2006, 09:05 GMT
MP in talks over Eurostar changes
Eurostar train
Ashford will see fewer Eurostar trains after Ebbsfleet station opens
The Ashford Tory MP is seeking to persuade Eurostar to rethink proposals to axe rail services to Europe at a meeting with its chief executive.

Ashford International is due to lose all Brussels trains and off-peak Paris services when the 100m Ebbsfleet station opens in north Kent next year.

Damian Green fears the loss will damage the environment in Kent and affect government plans to develop Ashford.

However, Eurostar has maintained that Ebbsfleet will complement Ashford.

Chief executive, Richard Brown, said Eurostar would work with Kent agencies to start building demand from the town.

"We do see Ashford as absolutely complementary to Ebbsfleet," he said.

'Howls of protest'

Mr Green said he had received letters of support for his campaign from as far afield as Sussex.

In a Westminster Hall debate on the Eurostar decision last month, he said: "Big howls of protest have come from Hastings, the regeneration of which is predicated partly on the improvement of rail links to and from Ashford.

"I have also received strong letters of support from as far afield as Eastbourne.

"That shows how wide the catchment area that will be affected if the proposals go through is."

Eurostar is due to begin running its services from Ebbsfleet station, near Gravesend, next November.




SEE ALSO
Councils attack Eurostar changes
03 Oct 06 |  England

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