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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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"People will be using driverless cars to Barnard Castle before driverless trains operate on London Underground" - ASLEF General Secretary Mick Whelan.

People will be using driverless cars to Barnard Castle before driverless trains operate on London Underground, claims ASLEF General Secretary Mick Whelan.

The leader of the drivers’ union was responding to Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s suggestion that driverless LU trains could be a condition of the emergency funding for Transport for London.

Johnson discussed the idea at the launch of construction of Siemens’ Goole factory, where the first tranche of new Deep Tube trains will be built for the Piccadilly Line.

Johnson told ITV News: “You can run these trains without the need for somebody to be sitting in the driver’s cab the whole time.

“So, what I will be saying to the London Transport Authority is: let’s take advantage of this technological leap forward, let’s not be the prisoners of the unions any more, let’s go to driverless trains, and let’s make that a condition of the fund-ng settlement for Transport for London this autumn.”

Whelan retorted: “Train drivers on London Underground have continued to work throughout this pandemic to make sure that fellow key workers can get to work and back. Now those very same workers are being treated with contempt and told they’re not needed.

“People will be taking driverless car journeys to Barnard Castle before a driverless tube to Elephant and Castle,” said Whelan.

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