Franco-British Ministerial visit to Channel Tunnel
To mark the completion of new security installations on the Coquelles terminal, French Minister for the Interior, Bernard Cazeneuve, and his British counterpart, Home Secretary, Theresa May, visited the Eurotunnel French terminal this morning to review the additional security measures implemented by Eurotunnel and the two governments, in line with their respective responsibilities, to counter the repeated intrusions by migrants seeking to cross to the UK.
The 650 hectare terminal in Coquelles has a 23 kilometre periphery and sees 21 million passengers pass through each year. It is the equivalent in size and daily traffic volume to a major international airport. Eurotunnel reacted immediately to the increased number of attempted intrusions by increasing its security staff and by installing new fences to protect its platforms and the approaches to the railway tunnels and to avoid the risk of accidents to people which are always possible in a railway environment. At the same time the resources and coordination of the police authorities were reinforced in line with operational needs.
These different measures have driven a rapid and noticeable improvement in the situation, thereby enabling Eurotunnel to operate the Channel Tunnel under normal conditions and to offer a rapid, reliable and safe service to the tens of thousands of passenger vehicles and trucks which use the Tunnel on a daily basis.
In addition, protecting the access routes and creating a new, secure 370 space parking area for trucks will enable hauliers, rather than having to wait on the motorways during busy periods, to park in complete security in a protected and dedicated area and to expect an uneventful crossing of the Channel.
The intrusions, however, continue along the SNCF tracks leading to the Frethun fan. Eurotunnel has contacted SNCF Réseau to propose security solutions of a similar nature to those which have already proven their worth on the cross-Channel terminal.
Jacques Gounon, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Groupe Eurotunnel SE stated:
“Through their presence here, their support and the very powerful messages they have sent today, the British Home Secretary and her counterpart, the French Minister for the Interior, have highlighted the vital importance of the Channel Tunnel. Our many customers can have confidence in the quality and security of our services.”