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As lockdown restrictions ease and we start to consider travelling again, the future of cross-Channel operator Eurostar remains uncertain.
Eurostar is seeking financial support from the UK Government, citing higher access charges here as a reason.
The French Government has pledged to provide support for the operator, while £200 million has been provided by one of its shareholders, Caisse de Dépôt et Placement du Québec (CDPQ) and Hermes Infrastructure.
Registered in the UK and supporting 3,000 jobs either with the business or in the supply chain, the company is, however, 55% owned by SNCF (French state rail), 40% by CDPQ/Hermes and 5% by SNCB (Belgian state railways).
So: Should the UK Government provide financial assistance to Eurostar?

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Portishead station site agreed

Following public consultation on three options for a location, land between Queens Avenue and Harbour Road (Option 2B), has been selected by the Office of Rail Regulation as the preferred site for the new Portishead station.

This choice is due to have been ratified by North Somerset Council’s Executive Committee on March 17 (RAIL 764).

Option 2B, which is 600 metres from the town centre, was the site most popular with those who responded to the consultation. Further design work and another round of consultations are now planned.

Another option, which would have involved a level crossing, was dismissed by the ORR due to safety concerns.

The re-opening of the Portishead branch and the new station form the bulk of the MetroWest Phase 1 project, the overall cost of which is estimated to be £58.1 million, the Executive Committee heard. 

  • For more on this story, read RAIL 770, published March 18.

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