Bargain hunters will find it easier to get to the sales this year under plans to boost Boxing Day rail services, Transport Minister Norman Baker announced.
The extra rail services – which will make it easier for shoppers to access retail hubs in central London, Stratford and Kent – are being provided thanks to an agreement between the Department for Transport, Southeastern, and HS1 Ltd.
Transport Minister Norman Baker said:
“We have devised a unique agreement to enable Southeastern and HS1 to make it easier for their passengers to get to the sales following Christmas, which will provide more services at no cost to the Government.
“Southeastern ran some very successful services on High Speed 1 during the Olympics and the train operator has shown there is sufficient demand for these services so we were happy to consider allowing them to adjust their timetables. This is an excellent example of the Government, infrastructure owners and train operators working innovatively together to improve services for passengers.
Southeastern’s managing director, Charles Horton said
“We’re really pleased to offer this trial Boxing Day service for our passengers thanks to the collaboration with HS1 and the DfT. Our high speed Javelin service willtransport people from Ashford to St Pancras International in just 37 minutes, and19 minutes from Ebbsfleet. We’re also pleased to offer free parking at these two stations for Boxing Day so everyone has a little bit extra to spend in the sales!”
Ben Ruse, HS1 Ltd, the company that owns High Speed 1 said
“Demand for high speed rail travel is rising all the time and this welcome example of teamwork on the railways means we can offer high speed rail customers a service that will prove hugely popular.”
The half hourly service will run between Ashford International, Ebbsfleet International, Stratford International and St Pancras International.
Southeastern and HS1 Ltd ran a special timetable through the Olympics and Paralympics with extra high speed services to carry spectators to and from Stratford International.