Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions
Study of Regional Eurostar services published
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Study of Regional Eurostar services published
type Press release
The independent report on the future of Regional Eurostar services will provide the basis for considering a strategy for international services, Transport Minister Keith Hill said today.
Mr Hill was responding to publication of the report, Review of Regional Eurostar Services, commissioned by the Department in June 1999 from consultants Arthur D Little (ADL).
Commenting on the report, Keith Hill said:
"This assessment of regional Eurostar services will now be considered by the British Railways Board in its review of regional international services. That review is expected in early summer.
"Subject to the Transport Bill receiving Royal Assent that review will be inherited by the Board's successor, the Strategic Rail Authority. The SRA will be charged with providing a strategy for international services.
"In the meantime, I can announce that regional passengers will get some immediate benefit from the investment that has been made in regional Eurostar trains. I am today giving the go ahead for Eurostar to lease some of the regional trains to GNER for 3 years. This use of the regional stock follows the advice of the Select Committee on Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs, but does not pre-empt future options for regional international services.
"This lease arrangement will pave the way for increased domestic services on the East Coast Main Line, with nearly 2 million extra seats a year added to GNER's capacity. There will be more opportunities for changing onto international services in London. Most passengers from the regions north of London can now pay a single fare to take them to Paris or Brussels, providing a more seamless journey. Some very attractive fares packages are available."
ADL and its expert advisors were asked to produce a thorough report on the financial, economic and social impacts of potential Regional Eurostar services. The company consulted local authorities, the public and regional interest and pressure groups. They considered a wide range of options, three of which were studied in more detail:
a regional service starting in 2001 with trains running on the East and West Coast Main Lines;
a regional service starting in 2007 once the Channel Tunnel Rail Link is operating from St Pancras; and
no regional service.
ADL found that both the 2001 and 2007 options for regional services would require a subsidy to run.
Notes to editors
Section 40 of the Channel Tunnel Act 1987 obliged British Rail to prepare a plan with the aim of securing the provision of international through services serving various parts of the United Kingdom.
In January 1999 the ETRA Select Committee published its report on Regional Eurostar services. Part of the Government's response was to commission ADL to complete this independent review.
The British Railways Board is now reviewing its plan under Section 40 of the Act. Subject to the Transport Bill receiving Royal Assent, the BRB's successor, the Strategic Rail Authority, will have a duty to prepare a strategy for international rail services using the Channel Tunnel. ADL's report will now be considered in the development of the BRB's and SRA's plans.
The report is available on the Internet: http://www.railways.dtlr.gov.uk/eurostar/index.htm. Hard copies are available from Cambertown Ltd, Cambertown House, Goldthorpe Industrial Estate, Goldthorpe, Rotherham, South Yorkshire, S63 9BL. Tel: 01709891318. Orders require a cheque made out to the DETR.
The Rail Regulator gave provisional approval to GNER in December 1999 for increased services on the East Coast Main Line. GNER will initially lease 2 regional Eurostar trainsets with the consent of the Secretary of State, and will have access to a replacement regional Eurostar trains during scheduled maintenance.
Eurostar have agreements with GNER and a number of other Train Operating Companies for the provision of through ticketing, including for the London Underground connection.
Examples of return fares to Paris, Brussels or Lille are: Peterborough from £69 or Newcastle from £84 with GNER, Glasgow, Manchester or Liverpool from £79 with Virgin Trains, Northampton, Milton Keynes, or Bletchley from £69 with Silverlink, Bristol or Bath from £79 with Great Western.
Press enquiries: 020 7944 4671
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Public Enquiries Unit: 020 7944 3000
Web site: http://www.dtlr.gov.uk/
Railhub Archive ::: 2000-02-17 DET-001