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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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Conductors offered £2,000 ultimatum to settle dispute

Southern 377162 at Clapham Junction. RICHARD CLINNICK.

Govia Thameslink Railway has offered a lump sum of £2,000 to each conductor, to settle the dispute. The money would be payable on completion of the introduction of a new role of On Board Supervisor next January.

The offer is in addition to an existing deal that has been on the table for two months. It includes guaranteed jobs until 2021, above-inflation pay rises, and guaranteed overtime for those who want it.

GTR gave the RMT a deadline of October 6 to accept the deal, or at least agree to put it to conductors in a ballot. That would mean suspending the series of 14 days of strikes.

GTR’s letter to the union stated: “These proposals are dependent upon agreement that services with a second member of on-board employees (rather than a traditional conductor) will have the driver in full control of train dispatch.” In other words, the drivers would operate the train doors and be responsible for safety. 

RMT General Secretary Mick Cash responded: “Jobs, safety and access on Southern Rail services are not for sale for £2,000. This dispute has never been about money. We will not be caving in to ultimatums that put a bounty on our members’ heads and which try to bribe us into selling out.”

  • For much more on this story, read RAIL 811, published on October 12.

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  • Chris - 03/10/2016 20:22

    This looks like a desperate last ditch attempt from an organisation that appears to be working as the DfT's puppet to force through a change that is not in the customer's best interests. It will be interesting to see what the review of the Watford Tunnel collision is regarding the driver being trapped in his cab, unable to assist customers.

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