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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 query Northern Powerhouse Rail’s impact on towns

Northern MPs have criticised the Northern Powerhouse Rail project for focusing too much on enhancing city-to-city connectivity, rather than looking at increasing transport links between smaller settlements in the region.

Responding to a presentation made at an All-Party Parliamentary Rail Group meeting by Tim Wood, Northern Powerhouse Rail Director at Transport for the North, Great Grimsby MP Melanie Onn raised concerns that the new schemes are not going to help improve the economies of towns.

She said: “The plan is very city-focused, and there remains an issue around how we can improve economies outside the cities - and that means looking at towns slightly further out because those are the areas that are continuing to struggle. I am interested to know how we are we going to improve the situation for towns.”

Wood countered that the long-term plan is to “amplify the number of trains”, stating that Hull-Leeds services would increase from one train per hour to two trains per hour. But he warned that the infrastructure needs to be in place first, in order to accommodate both longer and more trains.

  • For the FULL story, read RAIL 875, published on March 27, and available digitally on Android, iPad and Kindle from March 23.

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  • D. O'Connell - 11/04/2019 20:30

    This is so true!! On the other side of England in the Southport and West Lancashire area towns are also struggling, Poor rail serviced and reducing bus provision especially at weekends mean people are cut off. Some towns have the rail service on Mon-Sat only. So connectivity is appalling. The TfN have been written to about this aspect but seemingly to no avail.

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