Eurostar sees record ticket sales

TICKET sales and passenger numbers at Eurostar edged up to a new record last year despite a series of breakdowns which left thousands of passengers stranded in the Channel Tunnel.

Sales at Eurostar reached £675.5m – up 1.7 per cent on 2008.

The company took £675.5m while passenger numbers rose 1.2 per cent to 9.2m.

However, it is expected to be hit with a £10m compensation bill after 2,000 passengers were trapped on the weekend of 18 to 20 December.

The services were suspended for three days after the initial problems which were caused by severe weather.

Thousands more travellers who had bought tickets for a festive getaway were hit by the chaos.

Eurostar has commissioned an independent review into what went wrong.

The company said a falling numbers of business passengers was offset by a surge in holidaymakers, up 15.6 per cent year on year.

Passengers travelling between London and Brussels increased by 6 per cent while the numbers using the Paris route rose by 1 per cent.