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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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Perry predicts smart ticketing revolution

Rail Minister Claire Perry says smart ticketing on the railways is “an inevitability”, and that magnetic stripe tickets will be redundant in the future.

Perry was speaking at the Transport Ticketing and Passenger Information conference at Billingsgate Market in London on January 26. In a wide-ranging speech, she claimed that the regions are “catching up” with the capital in the introduction of smart ticketing, highlighting initiatives on c2c, and in the Midlands and northern England, as well as the South East Flexible Ticketing programme.

“If smart ticketing is to become established on our railways, it will mean the death of the tangerine ticket - the familiar orange magstripe paper ticket that has served Britain’s rail customers for 30 years,” she said.

“It is a ticket that has done its job well but now seems woefully inadequate for the future - especially for an industry focused on customer service.”

  • For more on this, read RAIL 793, published on February 3.

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