High-speed rail now connects more than 200 British towns and cities to mainland Europe
Eurostar, the provider of high-speed, carbon neutral rail journeys between the UK and the Continent, today announced that it now offers fares from more than 200 towns and cities across Britain for high-speed rail travel to the continent.
Eurostar outlined its plans the day after the Government announced an investment programme in high-speed rail to help meet its targets to cut carbon emissions.
South West Trains today becomes the latest train operator with which Eurostar is to introduce a joint ticketing deal, with fares from just £63 return and no airline-style extra charges for check-in, baggage or seat reservations.
Examples of city centre to city centre journey times include Basingstoke to Paris in 4h12, Southampton to Brussels in 4h33, and Woking to Paris in 3h58.
Partnerships with further train operators are expected to take the number of stations offering connecting high-speed fares to more than 300 later this summer.
Travellers from as far afield as Aberdeen, Bangor and Penzance can now buy connecting fares for journeys through to Paris, Brussels and beyond. Eurostar has seen particularly significant growth in travellers from the Midlands, Yorkshire and the North East since it moved from Waterloo to St Pancras International in November 2007.
Nick Mercer, Commercial Director, Eurostar, said: "High-speed rail is capturing the public imagination as the new alternative to short-haul air for journeys across Europe."
"More than 200 British cities are now connected to Europe's high-speed rail network, and with one booking you can travel from almost anywhere in Britain to hundreds of destinations on the other side of the Channel."
"We look forward to the launch next year of high-speed rail services between Brussels and Amsterdam, which will put a range of Dutch cities within three to four hours of London."
Friends of the Earth's Campaigner Richard Dyer said: "High-speed rail can provide a viable low-carbon alternative to short-haul flights."
"We're pleased Eurostar is making it even easier for passengers from across the UK to book tickets to continental destinations."
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. Travellers can buy connecting fares to the Continent from more than 200 stations across the UK. Return ticket prices range from £63, including Brighton from £71 and Edinburgh from £92. Eurostar's lead-in fare of £59 return from London to Paris/Brussels has gone unchanged for six years. To book tickets or for more travel information, please visit www.eurostar.com or call 08705 186 186.
3. Under its Tread Lightly environmental plan, Eurostar has set a target of reducing CO2 emissions by 35% per traveller journey by 2012, compared with 2007. Because emissions cannot yet be eliminated, Eurostar is also the world's first train operator to make all journeys carbon neutral, at no extra cost to travellers. Based on comparisons of actual load factors and specific energy data, a Eurostar journey generates just one-tenth of the carbon dioxide of an equivalent flight.
4. Eurostar and Friends of the Earth are working together in the UK on Eurostar's Tread Lightly plan and Friends of the Earth's climate campaign. To find out more about Friends of the Earth visit www.friendsoftheearth.co.uk.
5. Eurostar is a founder member of Railteam, an alliance of 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.
6. Eurostar is an entirely separate business from Eurotunnel. Eurostar operates high-speed passenger trains, while Eurotunnel operates vehicle shuttle services and the Channel Tunnel itself. Eurostar is Eurotunnel's biggest customer.
7. To book tickets or for more travel information, please visit www.eurostar.com or call 08705 186 186.
For more information contact:Eurostar Press OfficeEurostart: 0044 (0)20 7843 5500e: firstname.lastname@example.org