More State aid for Channel Tunnel services approved

European Commission press notice reporting that the Commission has approved a one-year extension of subsidies to EWSI, the main freight operator through the Channel Tunnel. The public service purpose justifying the aid is a "European objective of developing a sustainable transport system with better performing rail services".

The subsidy covers the minimum charge (about £40 million a year) originally agreed between the railways and Eurotunnel as part of the funding package for the construction of the tunnel. The UK Government has covered this amount since 1998 and will continue to do so until the agreement to pay minimum charges expires at the end of November 2006. EWS has apparently given some undertakings not to cut services or withhold the supply of traction services at "market rates" from competitors.

For further information or advice please contact Franck Latrémolière.

Filed under Public transport.

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