Catherine Bearder MEP today expressed the anger of her constituents to Eurostar, after its calamitous handling of the service over Christmas.
In a meeting with the Head of External & Government Relations at Eurostar, Catherine challenged the train operator on its preparedness for such a crisis. A series of breakdowns led to many passengers being stuck in the channel tunnel for as long as sixteen hours with no power or light and little communication from Eurostar about what was happening to them.
The knock on effect of the crisis was a severe disruption to travel both sides of the tunnel. Many people were unable to return home and left completely unaware of possible alternative arrangements.
Catherine said, "clearly what happened was unacceptable and must not happen again".
"I was shocked at the apparent lack of planning from Eurostar. As a former councillor I am well aware of the emergency planning that is expected from organisations like Eurostar, and they have failed to do it."
Eurostar have commissioned a comprehensive independent review of their service over the Christmas period but it's unclear whether they intend to present it to the European Parliament.
Catherine argued, "given that Eurostar have received a huge amount of taxpayers' money over the years, I have demanded that Eurostar present the findings of the report to the people's elected representatives at the European Parliament."
"I will be awaiting the report with interest and will certainly be scrutinising it very closely."