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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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"Time is of the essence if we are to avoid a catastrophic situation where we literally run out of money" - London Transport Commissioner on TfL's Government funding

Time is rapidly running out for the Government to agree a new financial settlement with Transport for London, says the city’s Transport Commissioner Andy Byford.

The Department for Transport is currently reviewing TfL’s finances following the award of a £1.6 billion emergency funding package in May.

The bailout was agreed just hours before TfL was due to run out of money, after a collapse in passenger numbers in late March to less than 10% of pre-COVID levels.

But with the funding agreement due to expire at the end of September and with passenger numbers remaining at less than 35%, Byford warned that TfL has once again been left on the verge of potentially suspending London Underground and local bus services.

He told the UK Rail Summit: “This COVID-19 crisis had had a catastrophic effect on TfL’s finances. Our budget, to be frank, is in tatters and we are currently discussing with DfT and ministers the mechanism by which we might pull out of that.

“We are into the hard yards of that discussion and time is of the essence if we are to avoid a catastrophic situation where we literally run out of money and we have to go where we really don’t want to go.”

  • For the FULL story, read RAIL 915, published on October 7, and available digitally from October 3.


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