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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 quiz London Mayor on TfL finances

“I think negotiations would be slightly easier if I wasn’t standing for re-election as Mayor next May,” Sadiq Khan admitted to the House of Commons Transport Select Committee on July 22.

The Mayor of London was being quizzed by MPs about the impact of COVID-19 on Transport for London.

Discussing negotiations relating to the £1.1 billion bailout by Government that lasts until mid-October, as well as a £500 million loan, Khan added: “What concerns me is the Government may be in danger of really jeopardising the devolution settlement in the interests of party politics, and I’d ask them not to.”

Khan is seeking more fiscal devolution for London: “In 2015, the then-Mayor of London Boris Johnson agreed TfL would lose its operating grant, which in 2010 was £3.3bn per year.

“About 80% of TfL’s services are contingent on fares coming in. To compare… in Paris it’s 37%, Madrid is 48%, New York is 38% and Singapore is about 20%.”

  • For the FULL story, read RAIL 910, published on July 29, and available digitally from July 25.


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