Eurostar keeps 'lead-in' fare unchanged in 2009 – sixth year of just £59 return to mainland Europe

31 Dec 2008

-- High-speed rail travel from only £59 return – no increase since March 2003-- Lead-in fare now 20% cheaper in real terms than six years ago-- Value for families - children under 4 travel for free
Eurostar, the high-speed passenger train service linking UK with the Continent, today (31 December 2008) announced that its lead-in fare of just £59 return will remain the same in 2009 – and has now gone unchanged since March 2003.
The highly competitive £59 return fare is available up to four months in advance of the date of travel and there are no surcharges or taxes. It is valid to Paris, Disneyland Resort Paris, Brussels and any station in Belgium.
Eurostar makes it easy for families to go by train instead of plane, because children under the age of 4 can travel for free, unlike on airlines.
Eurostar also offers good value fares from 150 towns and cities across the UK in conjunction with domestic train operators, with return tickets from just £71 from Brighton and from £92 from Edinburgh.
Tickets booked online are also free from any hidden extra surcharges or taxes. Travellers are advised that they are likely to obtain the greatest availability, including the £59 lead-in fare, by booking ahead and/or by travelling in mid-week, as the best deals sell out early.
Eurostar's Commercial Director Nick Mercer said: "We know travellers want good value, so we're offering them the chance to plan an affordable spring break or summer holiday.
"In a year that will be crucial for global progress in tackling climate change*, travellers can also be confident that travelling by Eurostar generates less than one-tenth of the carbon dioxide emissions of an equivalent flight.
"In addition, where Eurostar cannot yet eliminate CO2 emissions, it is the world's first train operator to make all journeys carbon neutral at no extra cost to travellers, by investing at its own expense in high-quality offsetting projects in the developing world."
Eurostar's lead-in return fare has reduced steadily from £95 in 1994 when services began, to £79, and then to £59 in 2003. It is now less than half the price in real terms compared with 14 years ago.
*The United Nations Climate Change Conference takes place in Copenhagen, Denmark in December 2009
***ENDS***
Notes to Editors:
1. Eurostar is the high-speed train service linking St Pancras International, Ebbsfleet International, Ashford International, Paris, Brussels, Lille, Calais, Disneyland Resort Paris, Avignon and the French Alps.
2. Eurostar offers through fares to the Continent with First Great Western, National Express East Anglia, First Capital Connect, Virgin Trains, National Express East Coast, East Midlands Trains, London Midland, Chiltern Railways and Hull Trains.
3. Ebbsfleet International in north Kent is close to junction 2 of the M25 and Bluewater shopping centre, serving 10 million people across southern and eastern England. It offers frequent services to Brussels and Paris, with ample parking and taxi and Avis car hire facilities.
4. Ashford International in Kent provides three services a day to Paris, a daily service to Disneyland Resort Paris and seasonal weekly services to the French Alps and Avignon.
5. Eurostar is the world's first train operator to make all journeys carbon neutral. Independent research has shown that a Eurostar journey between London and Paris generates one-tenth of the carbon dioxide produced by an equivalent flight. Under its Tread Lightly initiative, Eurostar has set a target of further reducing its CO2 emissions by 25% per traveller journey by 2012.
6. Eurostar and Friends of the Earth are working together in the UK on Eurostar's Tread Lightly initiative and The Big Ask, Friends of the Earth's climate campaign. To find out more about Friends of the Earth visit www.friendsoftheearth.co.uk.
7. Eurostar is a founder member of Railteam, a partnership between Europe's leading high-speed train operators that is developing simpler ways to book and travel on the fast-expanding, European high-speed rail network.
8. Eurostar and Eurotunnel are entirely separate companies. Eurostar operates high-speed passenger trains, while Eurotunnel operates vehicle shuttle services and the Channel tunnel itself. Eurostar is Eurotunnel's biggest customer.
9. To book through fares via Eurostar, or to find out more information, go to www.eurostar.com or call 08705 186 186.
For more information:Eurostar Press Office+44 (0)20 7843 5500press.office@eurostar.co.uk
For images please go to www.eurostarimagery.co.uk and register