Eurostar News Update: Ticket Prices Need to be Dropped

price cut

Eurostar News Update: EU commission threatens Britain&France with legal action if they do not reduce their ticket prices, giving them two months to respond.

France and Britain have been given two months notice to respond to the European Commission with their request to lower the charges for passengers using the trains. If they don’t decide to reduce the amount they are charging customers then they are liable to face court action.

Eurostar News Update: EU Commission prepared to take legal action

“Access charges for passenger services and freight are much higher than they need to be,” an EU official said, saying usage of the tunnel was less than it should be because of the cost.

Tunnel operator Eurotunnel charges a reservation fee of €4,320 one way for Eurostar trains and €16.60 per passenger. EU officials said the charges should be roughly half that amount, and the excess meant only 43% of the tunnel’s capacity is used.

EU officials said if the charges were lower, the tunnel could make up the difference through increased freight traffic, forecasting a doubling of the amount of daily freight trains.

Under EU law, rail companies are only allowed to charge fees consistent with the amount of wear caused by a train journey.

But the officials said the Commission investigation found operators of the Channel Tunnel were charging higher-than-necessary access charges, and using this income to subsidise the operator’s car shuttle service, which does not pay such charges.

Officials said the tunnel had sought an exception to levy higher access charges to pay construction costs. They said the investigation did not find evidence to support this, and noted that Eurotunnel’s financing costs declined significantly after a write-off in 2007.

In addition to access charges, Commission regulators found that a usage agreement which reserves 50% of traffic for French national rail operator Societé  Nationale de Chemins de Fer and German DB Schenker, a unit of Deutsche Bahn, for 65 years violated EU rules because of its length.

The tunnel’s own rail regulator is also too weak, they said, and the railway operators have too much control.”

People are agreeing with the commission and saying that ticket prices should be cheaper. And equally, regardless whether the prices are dropped, the profit they are making they should be redistributed onto the improvements of the rail lines instead of the company pocketing it for themselves. To find out more information about the current prices Eurostar charge, or to enquire about any other service please call the Eurostar Helpline.

Original article sourced from http://www.euractiv.com/

 

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