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10 years after Eurostar speed record

Driver Alan Pears who set the speed limit with unveiled plaque Credit: ITV Meridian

Kent school children joined Eurostar to celebrate its 10 year anniversary of setting the high speed rail record.

A special plaque has been unveiled today by the driver, Alan Pears, who set the record in Kent.

On July 30, 2003, a Eurostar train sped through Kent countryside to set the record at 208mph on High Speed 1.

The record was taken near Medway Viaduct and to celebrate the record an event is taking place today.

Eurostar celebrates 10 years since getting speed record with school children Credit: ITV Meridian

Report claims number of people using HS1 was grossly overestimated

The Eurostar passes over the Medway Bridge using the HS1 Channel Tunnel Rail link Credit: PA

A report for the public accounts committee claims that the new HS1 route through Kent will cost the nation billions because the number of people using it was grossly overestimated.

The government bailed out the project but lower passenger numbers are leaving the taxpayer with a bill of £10 billion .

Meanwhile it wants HS2 - a high speed rail route planned for Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire - to be reviewed so it doesn't happen again.

The Rt Hon Margaret Hodge MP, Chair of the Committee of Public Accounts, said:

“Whilst HS1 provides an efficient service, there were costly mistakes in the history of the project. These must not be repeated with HS2.”

“HS1 was supposed to pay for itself but instead the taxpayer has had to pay out £4.8 billion so far to cover the debt on the project.”