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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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Scotland outlines transport transition plan

The Scottish Government has outlined plans for changes to transport services, in response to any easing of the country’s lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic.

It notes that public confidence in public transport has fallen and that demand will need to be carefully managed. It is estimated that demand has reduced by up to 90%, and that around 40% of rail services are running.

Physical distancing is to be implemented on trains, cutting capacity to around 12% of pre COVID-19 levels. And those who use public transport, in addition to staff, will be expected to wear face coverings.

The number of services is expected to increase, but the Government acknowledges that this is unlikely to match demand.

Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson said: “A system that previously had 1.5 million journeys per day will be significantly constrained. I am urging employers, operators and the public to embrace these changes and help us all adapt to a new environment which has flexible and remote working at its core, for the immediate future at least, flattens peak travel demand and has a strong focus on active travel.”

  • For the FULL story regarding the railway's ongoing response to the COVID-19 situation, read RAIL 906, published on June 3, and available digitally from May 30.

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