Petition launched to secure government funding for Eurostar

A Eurostar high-speed train travels from Bourg-Saint-Maurice (in the French Alps) to London

A Eurostar high-speed train travels from Bourg-Saint-Maurice (in the French Alps) to London - Credit: Florian Pépellin

A petition has launched in an attempt to secure financial help to protect the future of Eurostar, which has been badly hit by the coronavirus crisis.

The Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union has launched the petition, calling on the government to give urgent assistance to the cross-Channel rail service.

“Like other rail companies and transport operators, Eurostar has been significantly impacted by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, with passenger numbers and revenue at a fraction of pre-Covid levels,” said the petition.

“Unlike other transport operators, including airlines, Eurostar has not yet received any Covid-19 state support from the UK government.”

MORE: Brexiteer calls for UK to save Eurostar - by buying it and renaming it 'Britstar'

RMT general secretary Mick Cash warned that the future of Eurostar, and the thousands of jobs it supports, is threatened.

“It is essential that governments, including the British government, make emergency funding available to bridge a way through this current lockdown and ensure that Eurostar is there to help the economy punch its way out of this crisis and provide the essential green rail links to the continent,” he said.

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Eurostar, which operated more than 50 daily services before the pandemic, revealed in November it is “fighting for its survival”.

The firm has been hit hard by the coronavirus crisis, with a 95% fall in passenger numbers.

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It is running just one daily train in each direction between London and Paris, and between London and Amsterdam via Brussels.

Eurostar is 55% owned by French state rail company SNCF after the UK government sold its stake to private firms for £757 million in 2015,

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