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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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RDG reiterates: travel only if absolutely necessary

The rail industry is urging people to stay at home when more trains begin running from May 18, after a 25% increase in the number of journey bookings for next week.

In a statement, the Rail Delivery Group urged people to only travel if the journey is really necessary. It also asked that those who do travel should consider alternative options or travel at quieter times.

Because social distancing must be observed, it’s expected that only around 10% of the usual capacity will be available, even with operators planning to run longer trains.

Passengers who must travel are being asked to buy tickets online, on mobile apps or smartcards. Reservations are encouraged for long-distance journeys.

Face coverings are advised, although these are not a legal requirement.

“To keep people safe, there will only be space on trains for as few as a tenth of the usual number of people, despite train companies gradually increasing services next week,” said RDG Director of Nations and Regions Robert Nisbet.

“We need people’s help to keep trains clear for those who really need them, so we are asking people to consider alternatives such as cycling or walking, and if that’s not possible to travel at quieter times.”

  • For the FULL story regarding the railway’s ongoing response to the COVID-19 situation, read RAIL 905 published on May 20, and available digitally from May 16.

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