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Union steps up campaign for Government to support Eurostar

Ministers have been urged to intervene to prevent the cross-Channel rail service ‘going to the wall’.

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A Eurostar e320 high-speed train heads towards France through Ashford in Kent (Gareth Fuller/PA)

A Eurostar e320 high-speed train heads towards France through Ashford in Kent (Gareth Fuller/PA)

A Eurostar e320 high-speed train heads towards France through Ashford in Kent (Gareth Fuller/PA)

Union leaders are to present a formal paper to the Treasury as part of their campaign for the Government to support the Eurostar rail service.

Officials of the train drivers’ union Aslef held a meeting at the Treasury on Friday to press the case for jobs and services to be protected as the cross-Channel operator suffers from a fall in passengers because of the coronavirus crisis.

General secretary Mick Whelan said: “We are calling on the UK government to intervene to prevent Eurostar going to the wall.

“Boris Johnson, Rishi Sunak, and Grant Shapps must act now to save this service – for passengers, for the men and women who work on Eurostar, and for Britain and our connection with the continent.

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The Eurostar terminal at St Pancras International Station, London (Aaron Chown/PA)

The Eurostar terminal at St Pancras International Station, London (Aaron Chown/PA)

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The Eurostar terminal at St Pancras International Station, London (Aaron Chown/PA)

“Train drivers, and the other men and women who make up the train crew, together with all the other staff who keep our railways running, have been instrumental in moving passengers and freight around this country during the pandemic.

“The cross-Channel link has never been more important.

“So the Government must not turn its back on them now.

“Eurostar is a strong company with a strong future, but it is suffering, as all train companies are suffering, not because of anything it has done wrong, but because of the pandemic.”

Aslef said it will now be working with other unions to put together a formal paper to be presented to the Treasury, saying: “That’s why the Treasury needs to help as it has helped other companies during this crisis.”

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