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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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MPs join forces to push for confirmation of HS2 to Leeds

Further delays to HS2 reaching Leeds will cost the region’s economy an estimated £1.7 billion per year, according to a cross-party group of politicians.

MPs and non-affiliated peers from across the Leeds City Region have joined forces and are calling on Government to publicly commit to building HS2 East to Leeds at the same time as HS2 West is built to Manchester.

They say this commitment is needed “at this most critical and fragile time for our economy”. The work is currently planned for 2035-40

In a letter to Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps, the group of nine MPs and two Peers, led by Hilary Benn (Labour, Leeds Central), wrote: “We are very concerned that the ‘pause’ to consider the planned delivery of HS2, beyond Birmingham, may result in HS2 East not being given the same prioritisation as HS2 West. This is despite the eastern route being developed into a much more mature state and is now in a good position so that work can progress to the next stage.”

The letter says the arrival of HS2 in Leeds is estimated to generate economic gains of £54bn and that the eastern leg has a Benefit:Cost Ratio of 5.6, compared with 2.6 for the Manchester leg.

It states: “HS2 is the only credible, developed plan to address East Coast Main Line capacity for current and future generations.”

  • For the FULL story, read RAIL 907, published on June 17, and available digitally from June 13.

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  • Charlie - 17/06/2020 18:57

    I think the government needs to fully nationalise not a watered down arms length half baked routine. . . .

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    • John Malet-Bates - 15/07/2020 06:43

      I think we are looking at a party and government that needs to be dragged, kicking and screaming, to act on anything. Laissez faiire to action this day is like turning an oil tanker.. Governments can't generally cope - this one ?? All praise to chancellor's swift programme which is about money and economy !!

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