High-speed rail link 'yet to boost Canterbury visitors'

High speed train
Image caption Southeastern said it worked with Visit Kent to offer special discounts for visitors

Canterbury is yet to see a boost in visitor numbers from the high speed (HS1) rail service linking Kent and London, a report has found.

Southeastern began running the Class 395 Javelin trains between Kent and London St Pancras two years ago.

A report for Canterbury City Council found more could be done to attract visitors from London.

Southeastern said it worked closely with Visit Kent to offer special discounts for visitors.

'Major opportunity'

The train company said passenger journeys from London to Canterbury had increased from 190,000 in 2009 to more than 250,000 in 2011.

More than 70% of those journeys were made on HS1, the company said.

Jenny Samper, a Conservative councillor who helped produce the report, said she hoped more people would use HS1 to visit the city.

She said: "We hope that because of the increase in the speed at which you can get to Canterbury it will happen."

Sandra-Matthews Marsh, chief executive of Visit Kent, said: "The review highlights a major opportunity now for Canterbury.

"There's a massive population of people who live in the St Pancras area and we need to get in their mindset that this is a real option."

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