Posted 16th December 2021 | 1 Comment

RMT appeals to government over new threat to Eurostar

RMT appeals to government over new threat to Eurostar

France is to close its borders to people travelling from Britain from 00.01 on Saturday morning unless their trips are necessary for 'compelling reasons', which do not include tourism or business journeys. The new clampdown has prompted the RMT to call on the government to step in with 'financial and practical support to prevent the risk of Eurostar collapsing'. General secretary Mick Lynch said: 'Eurostar has taken an absolute hammering financially since the COVID pandemic hit and this news is yet another kick in the teeth for staff who operate this crucial, green inter-continental link. We are calling on the Government to recognise the importance of Eurostar to the future of UK transport infrastructure and to meet in tripartite talks with ministers, the company and the unions to ensure a safety net is in place to prevent any risk of the operation tipping over.' 

DRS providing refrigerated rail freight for Tesco

Tesco has started to use refrigerated rail freight, with trains running twice a day between Tilbury and Coatbridge. The trains on the 668km route will each replace 40 lorry trips, and will be hauled by bi-mode Class 88 DRS locomotives, which will be able to draw power from the overhead where it exists. Tesco CEO in Britain and Ireland Jason Tarry said: 'We’ve been using rail to transport our goods since 2008 and this new service reflects our continuing commitment to rail which has clear advantages for our business, our customers and the planet. Our rail service will be an important part of our efforts to deliver a fantastic Christmas for our customers but the journey doesn’t stop here as we continue to increase the number of containers we transport by rail as part of our commitment to reach net zero emissions by 2035.' Forth Ports chief executive Charles Hammond added: 'Rail traffic at our ports has increased tenfold this year alone and we are expecting annual growth in rail to continue to 2030. At Tilbury, in the last two years, we've enhanced our rail capability considerably by building new rail terminals and barge loading facilities.'

London Mayor warns council tax may rise to rescue TfL

The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has warned that council tax in Greater London may have to rise by £20 a year for the next three years unless the government agrees a long-term funding settlement for Transport for London. The present settlement expires tomorrow, and passenger figures have been falling again since the reintroduction of Covid restrictions. Other possible economies include increasing the age at which Londoners are eligible for free travel, currently 60, over the next 12 years, while the Mayor had already warned that an Underground line might have to close. He continued: 'Train companies across the UK have faced the same emergency funding issues as TfL. In every case, the Government has bailed out the private rail operators with long-term agreements. However, the Government is treating London differently.' The RMT union has described the escalating crisis at TfL as a 'looming financial meltdown'. RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: 'This is a shameful way to treat London and London's key transport workers and this union stands ready to fight any cuts programme, whatever direction it comes from.'

Reader Comments:

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  • Martin Marrison, Haywards Heath

    Re TFL should this be part of leveling up that all train companies should be treated the same including TFL? I am sure there is some playing politics here as TFL is seen and Labour run? Would this be treated differently if this was a conservative major?