Ensure we have a green link to Europe - support Eurostar

Ensure we have a green link to Europe - support Eurostar

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Together for Eurostar started this petition to Grant Shapps

Help us save our green link to mainland Europe.

In 2019 Eurostar ran 80% of journeys between London and each of Paris and Brussels.

But, the company was one of the first to stop running its services and has had to reduce from 20 trains to Paris a day to 1 train a day for most of lockdown. Since getting the new finance deal in place in May it ramped up to 3 trains a day but this is not sufficient to recoup all its losses, having suffered a 95% drop in revenue.

Eurostar has had to be refinanced twice, in March 2021 it borrowed £400mil and received a cash injection of £170mil from its owners; and again in May 2021 to the tune of £250m. But still the UK government will not offer any support.

Eurostar is 55% owned by the French state railway SNCF, 40% by infrastructure funds CDPQ and Hermes, and 5% by Belgian railway SNCB. The UK sold its stake in Eurostar in 2015 for over £750mil as then Chancellor George Osborne branded it a "fantastic deal”. This has allowed Grant Shapps to state that Eurostar is not our problem to solve.

Eurostar is a UK based company. 70% of its workforce is here – over 1,000 jobs are direct, highly skilled employees and a further 2,000 rely indirectly on the company. However, the government have so far refused to commit any support to the company or the staff and the furlough scheme is ending in September.

The government have offered generous bailouts to aviation. Even by June last year British Airways, EasyJet, Wizz Air and Ryanair have taken £1.8bn from the Covid relief scheme.

Figures from the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy show that the transport sector, namely road and aviation, remains the largest source of pollution.

Replacing Eurostar with airlines would add 580,000 tonnes of CO2 per year, adding 60,000 short-haul flights a year.

The recently published Transport Decarbonisation Plan outlines proposals to support a move from road and air travel to rail, stating that the government is “committed to the construction of new lines to meet growing demand for rail travel”, but Eurostar is an existing route that needs to be supported short-term and would have a significant impact on emissions reduction.

The government has been espousing its green credentials to the world, but is prepared to let Eurostar - our only international rail link to continental Europe - fail, the consequences of which could be catastrophic to our emissions targets and green economy.

We can’t stand by and allow this to happen. Rail unions and environmental organisations have united together to support Eurostar now or suffer the climate consequences.

Please join us by signing the petition to demand the UK government step in to support Eurostar.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 1,500!
More signatures will help this petition be picked up by local news. Help take this petition to 1,500 signatures!