Eurostar introduces 2 for 1 deal for travellers using Ebbsfleet International and Ashford International

13 Mar 2008

Ticket sales at Eurostar shop in Bluewater shopping centre reach £1 million*Images are available - details below* Eurostar, the high-speed train service between the UK and mainland Europe, has launched a new 2-for-1 ticket offer for travel from its two stations in Kent, available to all visitors to Bluewater shopping centre. The new deal is expected to attract thousands of Bluewater shoppers from across Kent, Sussex, Surrey and Essex to use Eurostar’s nearby Ebbsfleet International station as a convenient starting point for day trips and leisure breaks to the continent. Ebbsfleet International is just a few minutes from Bluewater, the South East’s leading retail destination, and lies very close to junction 2 of the M25 near the Dartford Crossing in north Kent. The station is as close to the motorway as any of London’s airports, making it easy to access for 10 million potential travellers across South East England. The 2-for-1 deal runs until 31 May, and tickets will be valid for travel from 6 May until 31 August. All that shoppers need to do in order to qualify for the deal is to present a receipt from any Bluewater retailer at the Eurostar shop, where they can then purchase their tickets for travel from either Ebbsfleet International or Ashford International stations. The launch of the offer coincides with the Eurostar shop at Bluewater today (2 April) achieving £1 million of ticket sales since it opened last May. Lucky traveller Helen Harris was presented with a pair of Leisure Select return tickets to Paris to celebrate this major sales milestone. Journey times of just 2h 05m to Paris, 1h 41m to Brussels and 1h 10m to Lille make Ebbsfleet International the fastest, most convenient and reliable way from South East England to mainland Europe. The spectacular glass and steel station sits astride High Speed 1, the UK’s first high-speed line, on which Eurostar trains travel at 186 mph. A Eurostar journey generates one-tenth of the CO2 emissions of an equivalent flight, and all journeys are now carbon neutral (see notes). Eurostar’s Commercial Director, Nick Mercer, said: “This is a great deal that will help people across the South East to realise that Ebbsfleet International is just as convenient for travelling to mainland Europe as Bluewater is for shopping. “Both the station and the shopping centre share the same advantages of easy access from the M25 and ample parking right beside the main facilities. We are delighted that so many Bluewater shoppers have already bought tickets for high-speed rail travel from our two stations in Kent, taking sales past the one million mark.” Travellers can connect with Eurostar services at both Ebbsfleet International and Ashford International for free from any station on the Southeastern trains network. They can also travel without charge on the frequent, high-quality Fastrack bus service that links Ebbsfleet International and local rail stations in north Kent. High-speed domestic rail services are due to start serving Ebbsfleet International in 2009, making it even easier to use public transport to access both Bluewater and Eurostar services. -ends- Editor’s Notes: 1. Eurostar is the high-speed passenger train service linking St Pancras International, Ebbsfleet International, Ashford International, Paris, Brussels, Lille, Calais, Disneyland Resort Paris, Avignon and the French Alps. 2. Ebbsfleet International is very close to Bluewater shopping centre and is well signed for the drive of just a few minutes from junction 2 of the M25, near the Dartford crossing in north Kent. It offers seven trains a day to Paris and five a day to Brussels. It has 2,500 parking spaces, taxi and Avis car hire facilities. 3. Ashford International has three services a day to Paris, a daily service to Disneyland Resort Paris and seasonal weekly services to the French Alps and Avignon. The station has ample parking and domestic rail connections.4. Independent research has shown that a Eurostar journey between London and Paris/Brussels generates one-tenth of the carbon dioxide produced by an equivalent flight. Under its ‘Tread Lightly’ initiative, Eurostar has set a target of further reducing its CO2 emissions by 25% per traveller journey by 2012. 5. Eurostar is the world’s first train operator to make all journeys carbon neutral, at no extra cost to travellers.6. Eurostar and Friends of the Earth are partners in the UK and are working together on Eurostar’s Tread Lightly initiative and The Big Ask, Friends of the Earth’s climate change campaign.7. Eurostar is a founder member of Railteam, a partnership between Europe’s leading high-speed train operators that is developing simpler ways to book and travel on the fast-expanding, European high-speed rail network. 8. Eurostar and Eurotunnel are entirely separate companies. Eurostar operates high-speed passenger trains, while Eurotunnel operates a vehicle shuttle service and the Channel tunnel itself. Eurostar is Eurotunnel’s biggest customer. 9. To book tickets for Eurostar, or to find out more information, go to www.eurostar.com, call 08705 186 186 or contact your travel agent. For more information and images: Eurostar Press Office +44 (0) 207 843 5500press.office@eurostar.co.uk