Ebbsfleet Development Corporation is calling for clear plans to be drawn up to cater for increased passenger demand from Ebbsfleet International to central London.

The corporation says as Ebbsfleet Garden City rapidly grows – with up to 15,000 new homes built by 2031, plus the housing growth that Dartford and Gravesham are proposing – it is vital future passenger demand is met.

It points out that the Garden City has already seen more than 600 starts of new homes in the last year alone and that the forecast is for 5,100 new homes by 2020/1.

In response to the Network Rail Kent Area Route study, the EDC says it supports ideas to lengthen high speed, South London metro and Kent commuter peak time trains to 12-cars, where possible and where demand requires it.

It also supports platform extensions to facilitate longer trains and reiterates its strong support for the extension of Crossrail from Abbey Wood to Ebbsfleet.

The Department for Transport is also consulting on rail services in the county ahead of a new franchise to run services coming into effect in December 2018.

In response, the EDC is calling for the removal of a fare penalty for those travelling to London from Ebbsfleet Garden City, saying nearly £33 for a peak time return ticket to London does appear high.

It says this translates to an annual Season Ticket cost of £4,508.00. This is comparable to the cost of travel from a location such as Maidstone, Kent’s County Town, which is 20 miles beyond Ebbsfleet.

The premium ticket price that secures a 17 minute journey into the Capital is, however, recognised, similarly, once the cost of a basic annual season ticket passes the £5,000 mark, it could be a deterrent to many commuters on mid-level salaries to be able justify using the High Speed service.

To see our response on the Department for Transport South Eastern Franchise click here

To see our response to the Network Rail Kent Area Route study click here