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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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CBT slams move to paperless ticketing plan

The Campaign for Better Transport has slammed government and rail industry plans to roll out paperless ticketing in 2017, accusing the Government of delivering “very little”.

CBT spokesman Martin Abrams says the Government announced in 2013 that it would introduce smart ticketing, but that having spent £37 million of taxpayers’ money so far “it has delivered very little”.

He added: “Now it appears to be quietly trying to drop the project and distract passengers with this paperless ticketing comment. This is not a new scheme - the Government is simply attempting to hide its failure to implement smart ticketing technology, which, incidentally, is already available in London, Scotland and much of Europe.

“We need urgent answers from Government and train operators on why it is taking so long and costing so much to roll out simplified and flexible smart ticketing across the whole country.”

  • For more on this, read RAIL 792, publised on January 20.

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  • Noam Bleicher - 15/01/2016 09:05

    I'd blame: 1. A totally fragmented industry with dozens of parties all more concerned (understandably) with protecting their bottom line rather than making the system work better. 2. An absence of the kilometric flat fares that would make a paperless system work, and the punitive system of fines for travelling on the 'wrong' train and huge disparity in fares between one train and the next.

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