Metro service between Ashford and Lille?

Here is a story from http://www.kentonline.co.uk
Their website is very slow and so I have copied and pasted the story here

by business editor Trevor Sturgess

tsturgess@thekmgroup.co.uk

A cross-Channel “metro” line linking Ashford, Calais and Lille could be a step closer after Eurotunnel said it would offer cash incentives to launch the service.

Jacques Gounon, the company’s chief executive, believes a regular service between Kent and Nord Pas de Calais would provide a welcome economic boost, helping people commute to work on either side of the Channel.

He said train operators could be offered at least 10% off the Channel Tunnel’s normal access charges for up to two years.

“We cannot understand why such a connection doesn’t already exist,” Mr Gounon said at the Transmanche Jobs Fair in Frethun, Calais.

“I’m willing to make some discounts if tolls are an issue because I believe we must take the lead. I’m very disappointed because I’ve done my best and I’m ready to do more.”

Options could include extending the existing Javelin service through the tunnel or using available Eurostar trains. Both would be able to run through the tunnel without technical modification.

Although unlikely to make a profit from the start, public subsidy would be needed to kick-start the project.

Southeastern has been considering the project but has so far not made any decision. A consultants’ study is due to be published in France next month.

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