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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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Buckinghamshire consults on new transport plan

Consultation on a new draft Buckinghamshire Local Transport Plan - a blueprint for travel covering all types of transport and looking ahead to 2036 - started on December 4 and runs to January 29 2016.

The document, known as LTP4, has a specific section dedicated to rail. Continued support is given to the East West Rail project, with Mark Shaw, the county council’s Cabinet Member for Transport, saying: “It would stimulate an estimated £72 million boost to the local economy, open up a public transport cul-de-sac for the county, and bring connections to the north, west and east of the country within convenient reach of the whole of the county.”

In order to meet such goals as growing Buckinghamshire’s economy, providing improved connectivity in all directions, and improving integration with other modes of transport, the draft document says the county council will (among other things) “work with the rail industry (and others) to improve our stations and support rail partnerships to get the best out of the existing transport network”.

  • For more on this, see RAIL 790, published on December 23.

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