Rail (UK)

Eurostar seeks par­ity with avi­a­tion

- Business · Industries · Transportation · Eurostar · Paris · Gravesend & Northfleet F.C. · Department for Transport · Ashford

Eurostar is urg­ing Govern­ment to ex­tend the sup­port it has given the avi­a­tion sec­tor dur­ing the COVID cri­sis to in­clude in­ter­na­tional rail ser­vices.

As the op­er­a­tor re­duces its ser­vice to one train per day to three des­ti­na­tions (in­clud­ing Paris), hav­ing al­ready can­celled ser­vices on other routes and re­mov­ing trains from Ash­ford In­ter­na­tional and Ebb­s­fleet In­ter­na­tional un­til 2022, the Govern­ment has pro­vided £1.8 bil­lion in sup­port to the avi­a­tion sec­tor through loans, tax de­fer­rals and fi­nanc­ing.

A Eurostar spokesman told

RAIL: “The new scheme of rates re­lief for air­ports puts Eurostar at a di­rect dis­ad­van­tage against its air­line com­peti­tors. Eurostar has been left fight­ing for its sur­vival against a 95% drop in de­mand, while avi­a­tion has re­ceived over £1.8bn in sup­port.

“We would ask this scheme to be ex­tended to in­clude in­ter­na­tional rail ser­vices, and more gen­er­ally for the Govern­ment to in­cor­po­rate high-speed rail in its sup­port for the travel sec­tor, and in do­ing so help pro­tect the green gate­way to Europe.”

TSSA Gen­eral Sec­re­tary Manuel Cortes said: “Eurostar could not be clearer with the Govern­ment. They are look­ing at a cliff edge and now is the time to act. Min­is­ters must not sit on their hands.”

As this is­sue of RAIL went to press, the DfT had not pro­vided a re­sponse.

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