Post-Brexit Eurostar capacity down 30 per cent due to more border checks
Eurostar’s peak capacity at London St Pancras station is down 30 per cent as a result of post-Brexit checks.
Chief executive Jacques Damas said that additional checks caused a “significant increase in processing times,” therefore reducing the number of people processed at peak times.
Damas will step down after two years at the company’s helm and will be replaced from 1 October by rail veteran Gwendoline Cazenave.
“As things stand, peak capacity through the stations is circa 30 per cent lower than pre-Brexit,” Damas wrote to the Transport Select Committee on Tuesday.
The executive was responding to an inquiry by the committee’s chairman Huw Merriman about the closure of two Eurostar stations in Kent.
According to Damas, post-Brexit checks have added 15 seconds per passenger, forcing the train operator to process a maximum of 1,500 passengers per hour at peak times – down from 2,200 in 2019.
“It is only the fact that Eurostar has capacity-limited trains and significantly reduced its timetable from 2019 levels, that we are not seeing daily queues in the centre of London similar to those experienced in the Channel ports,” the outgoing chief executive said.
Eurostar has recently announced a cut to direct services from London to Disneyland to focus on core services following the impact of Brexit and Covid.