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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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CILT sets out 2035 transport vision

Economic growth and a rising population means that rail freight volumes are set to increase by 84%, with 30% growth in the next seven years, according to the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT).

In its latest Vision 2035 infographic, CILT states: “It is clear that as a nation we need to think radically about freight and logistics, or find ourselves falling down the World Bank rankings.” The UK is currently rated in the global top 10% for freight and logistics capabilities.

The Government has already outlined an aspiration to double rail travel by 2035, and the CILT’s latest analysis suggests that increasing demand for 24-hour services will put greater pressure on transport networks, compounded by a 30% rise in expenditure on internet shopping by 2025.

A reduction in carbon emissions of 80% by 2050 is targeted, with a 10% fall in road freight. The infographic says that transport is vulnerable to rises in fuel costs, which are expected to continue, and that energy demand is expected to increase by up to 40% by 2030.

  • Graphic is a section of the Vision 2035 infographic, which can be downloaded in full here.

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