NCE asked a senior government transport adviser how keen New Labour were on the Channel Tunnel Rail Link? He replied cryptically: 'They're not sure how enthusiastic they are. They'll be reading the papers to find out'.
'Unless Prescott is happy for Britain to be stuck in the slow lane across Kent for another decade, he may have little option but to bite the bullet and conjure up some more money'.
Forget dogma: just get the Channel rail link built.
'If Eurostar isn't doing enough business to finance the high-speed rail link between London and the Chunnel, why should taxpayers have to bail it out? Talk about pouring money down a big hole in the ground.'
'At much lower cost, the high-speed line could be built as far as North Kent, with a modestly improved line for the rest of the journey into Waterloo International. We could get almost as much benefit. It would be less of a strain on public funds. And we might get the line. The Channel Tunnel link is vital. Please, Mr Prescott, let's get it right now'.
London Evening Standard
'Railtrack and Eurorail, the losing consortium in 1996, could keep the rail operations going but are unlikely to guarantee the fast rail link beyond Ebbsfleet. That would be a blow to British pride, but not to business'.
'If the project collapses as a result [of the government's decision not to offer extra funding], ministers will have no difficulty in finding other uses for the cash.
'Our government should, like the French, have put money in at the start to make this highly-important piece of transport work'.
Michael Winner, News of the World.