Portas train tickets to Margate

Southeastern trains are to offer discounted train tickets from London to Margate in support of the Portas Pilot regeneration scheme.

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Mary Portas welcomes rail fares

This promotion sums up the spirit of the Portas Pilots. Everyone playing their part to bring the buzz back to our town centres. Get on board and find out what all the fuss is about."

– Mary Portas

"Margate is one of Mary Portas' Pilot Towns and Southeastern is pleased to support the initiative. Since we launched the high speed service in 2009, we've seen passenger numbers from London to Margate increase by around 60 percent. We've also seen a boost in numbers following the opening of the Turner Contemporary and the town is very popular in the summer, but we see less passengers travelling in the winter months.

– Charles Horton, Southeastern's Managing Director

Details of rail fare discounts

  • The £10 Portas Pilot ticket is less than a third of a regular off-peak day return from London to Margate (£31.10)
  • The Portas Pilot ticket will be available from the first weekend in November and will run through to the end of February 2013.
  • The ticket will be sold online only from the Southeastern website and is valid for travel on high speed, metro and mainline services from London to Margate, return.
  • 500 Portas Pilot tickets will be available each weekend, sold on a first come, first served basis.
  • Southeastern's Kids for a Quid offer is also available to be used with this ticket, where children can travel with an adult for £1.00.

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Mary Portas programme gathers support

Mary Portas with David Cameron in London Credit: Kirsty Wigglesworth/PA Wire

Southeastern Trains is to offer significant discounts on their rail fares from London to Margate over the winter months in support of the Mary Portas scheme to regenerate the town.

But the plans by the "Queen of Shops" have drawn criticism from local business leaders who say that she is more interested in making a TV programme rather than regenerating the high street.

Margate has been labelled as 'Britain's second worst ghost Town' with its 36.1% vacancy rate and is one of twelve 'Portas Pilot' towns Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire
Many of the town's shops stand empty Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire
Margate is one of twelve 'Portas Pilot' towns picked by Grant Schapps MP to receive help from retail guru Mary Portas. Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire
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