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Home Gravesend News Article
The number of people using Southeastern’s high speed service has risen dramatically.
Southeastern has recorded a 75% rise in passengers using high speed trains from Gravesend, since the service was first introduced at the station in 2010.
Passenger numbers from Ebbsfleet International Station also rocketed by 75% over the same period. The most dramatic rise came in early 2011 where the use of the service doubled.
There are now 33% more journeys made from Ebbsfleet than recorded last year.
Popular with commuters, the line can transport passengers from Gravesend to St Pancras International Station in London in just 23 minutes.
Southeastern said the high speed trains were in “strong demand” and now made up for more than half the journeys taken from Gravesend. They claimed it was “one of the most reliable” services in Britain.
The Department for Transport is currently considering feedback from Southeastern stakeholders as well as passenger groups, as it looks at ways to expand the service.
A Southeastern spokeswoman said: “We’re expecting a decision from the department over the next few weeks, which will determine the shape of our service for 2015, including the frequency of services on the high speed routes.
“As part of this process we have proposed an increase in the number of seats via Ebbsfleet international for morning peak services.”
It will be good news for passengers who pay for the speedy service but still find themselves standing for the journey.
Southeastern labelled Gravesend a “key hub” to their North Kent services and said the £19 million investment into the station was a sign of Gravesend’s importance.
The revamp, which saw the station closed for 15 days over Christmas, included a new platform – allowing longer trains to stop to serve more passengers – and a new footbridge with lifts.
However, the lifts are still not working despite the station re-opening more than a month ago.
It means those who are unable or have difficulty walking have to get assistance to cross platforms or take an inconvenient journey around the outside of the station.
Southeastern said a “phased” approach to the station’s redevelopment was always going to be the case and the lifts would be operational within a week.
A spokeswoman said: “The development at Gravesend was always scheduled to be a phased programme, with some elements coming on stream earlier than others.
“In the meantime our station team is available to provide assistance to disabled passengers to ease access to our services and help with travel arrangements."
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