Eurostar passenger figures still less than half the original forecast.
Eurostar have forecast that their international passenger numbers will reach 10 million by the end of 2013 which is well under half the published forecast circulated by British Rail to local residents in 1989 when the case for the Channel Tunnel Rail Link was being made. At that time no domestic services to Ashford were envisaged and these services have added another million passenger journey a year to the loss making Channel Tunnel Rail Link which is now called HS1. The line passes Hollingbourne between the Eyhorne Street Conservation and the M20 in a cut and cover tunnel.
Reprinted below is page 3 from the booklet that was given out to residents who attended the public meetings in Hollingbourne Village Hall in 1989. The titles Channel Tunnel Train Services – BR Study Report On Long Term Route And Terminal Capacity.
The figures show a passenger numbers between 21.2million and 26.2 million for 2013. The MVA number of 21.2 million was supplied by BR and the SETEC number of 26.2 million came from SNCF.
The Rail Link has never carried freight although some Channel Tunnel freight does travel on the existing South Eastern commuter lines. Apart from some improvement in train times to London from Canterbury and Ashford, most residents of Kent have received no benefit from HS1 and commuters have had to pay enhanced fares to subsidise HS1. In general affected residents had to wait through 18 years of blight for any compensation for the loss in value to their homes. The Route was first announced on 8th March 1989. Since the announcement of HS2 from London to the North of England Hollingbourne has received a number of visitors from HS2 affected areas on fact finding missions.