UK Transport Secretary praises new direct Eurostar connection
Eurostar has introduced a direct, non-stop route between the Netherlands and the UK without requiring passengers to disembark midway for passport control.
Grant Shapps, the UK’s Transport Secretary, has announced his approval of the new direct Eurostar connection between the Netherlands and the UK due to its benefits to passengers, businesses and the environment.
Previously, when travelling between Amsterdam or Rotterdam and London, passengers were required to disembark the train midway through their journey, in Brussels, to pass through and clear passport and UK border controls before continuing their journey.
The new non-stop, direct journey will have a significant positive impact on the environment and is set to increase the operational efficiency of Eurostar. The more efficient route will aim to encourage passengers to choose the greener option through the incentive of directness, with Eurostar estimating their trains will produce between 80 per cent and 90 per cent fewer emissions than the equivalent short haul flight.
Since first launching the service in April 2018, Eurostar has served over half a million passengers from London to Amsterdam and Rotterdam. The passenger number is expected to grow significantly following the launch of the direct return service and will mean that the UK will have seamless high-speed rail links with three major European cities.
Following welcoming the first Eurostar return journey from Amsterdam to London St Pancras International, Shapps praised the new service: “We’re continuing to invest in modern, efficient transport links with the continent so our businesses and tourism industry can flourish. The days of passengers being forced to decamp from the train at Brussels to file through passport control will soon be over, as we look forward to direct, return, high-speed services to Amsterdam and beyond.”
Mike Cooper, Chief Executive, Eurostar, said: “Our services from the UK to the Netherlands have proved very popular with over half a million travellers since launch. Our fully direct service marks an exciting advance for high-speed rail and provides consumers with a comfortable, environmentally-friendly alternative to the airlines on one of Europe’s busiest leisure and business routes.”
Cora van Nieuwenhuizen, Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management in the Netherlands, said: “The direct connection makes the train journey to London easier and faster. Checks in Brussels will no longer be necessary, saving travellers an hour of travel time. This way the train really becomes a fully-fledged alternative to the plane.”
Roger van Boxtel, Chief Executive, NS, said: “Brexit or not, London will be closer from 30 April 2020. Eurostar will take travellers from the centre of Amsterdam to the heart of London in four hours. The international services to Brussels and Paris are already a success, and from today we can now add London: the sustainable train is the future and brings Europeans together.”
Eurostar’s new direct connection follows the UK government’s launch of the next UN climate conference, COP26, with a year of climate action and new action to reach its legally binding target of net zero UK emissions by 2050.