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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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Passenger journeys top 1.7 billion

Passengers at York on May 10. JACK BOSKETT.

The number of rail passenger journeys made in the financial year ending March 31 2016 topped 1.7 billion, a 3.7% increase on the previous 12-month period.

Figures released on May 9 by the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) show that some 60 million additional journeys were made compared with the previous financial year. The total 1.7 billion journeys made equated to an average of 4.6 million journeys per day.

Revenue generated from passengers rose 5% to £9.3 billion, which the RDG attributes to the increase in passenger numbers. Highlighting the value of investment in the rail network, it said that 97% of this sum would be reinvested.

RDG said that journeys on Anytime and Season tickets accounted for more than one billion of the total. The year-on-year growth included around an 8% rise in journeys on unrestricted Anytime tickets.

  • For more on this, including a comment from Transport Focus Chief Executive Anthony Smith, read RAIL 801, published on May 25.

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