Eurostar has asked the UK government for a bail out having suffered huge losses during the Covid 19 pandemic. Annual revenues fell from £1billion in 2019 to around £180milllion in 2020 and services slashed from 50 a day to 2.
But Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said last month that as the company is majority-owned by the French, and the UK sold their stake in 2015, it is ‘not our company to save’.
Nevertheless, pre-pandemic, Eurostar contributed approximately £80 million to the UK economy and is the most environmentally friendly way to travel, with 90% less carbon emissions than flying.
Shapps also suggested all is not lost if Eurostar collapses and a new business takes over.
Ciarán Cuffe, Irish Green MEP argues: “Allowing Eurostar to fail would mean significant job losses and deal a massive blow to sustainable travel between the UK and the EU’.
If the British go full speed ahead and get Eurostar back on track with a substantial rescue package, this will safeguard 2000 jobs and eliminate damage to the UK economy and to the environment in the event of a new company takeover.