Grant Shapps has welcomed the new Eurostar train service between London and Amsterdam, which is hoped to improve journeys for passengers.
Mr Shapps praised the new service after watching the first train to arrive from Amsterdam into London St Pancras this morning.
The new service will mean passengers returning from Amsterdam or Rotterdam will no longer have to interrupt their journey and get off the train at Brussels to go through UK border controls.
The more efficient route will also bring benefits for the environment by persuading passengers to use Eurostar, which is said to produce between 80% and 90% fewer emissions, rather than flying.
The new services comes on the same day that the government launches its next UN climate conference, COP26, with a year of climate action. It also announced a new effort to reach its legally binding target of net-zero UK emissions by 2050.
Eurostar has carried 570,000 passengers from London to Rotterdam and Amsterdam since first launching the train service two years ago.
However, the government is now finalising an agreement with France, Belgium and the Netherlands to enable passport checks to be conducted at juxtaposed border controls on departure in the Netherlands.
What did the officials say?
Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps said:
“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.”
Minister for Security, Brandon Lewis, said:
“I’m very pleased to see today’s announcement from Eurostar. Our new agreement with our EU neighbours will make the journey from Amsterdam as quick and seamless as possible, while keeping borders secure.
“The UK’s ongoing cooperation with international partners shows, without doubt, that the UK is open for business with Europe and the rest of the world.”
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