Le Shuttle, the car carrying trains run by Eurotunnel through the Channel Tunnel, achieved a new record for traffic over recent weeks. In the seven days up to 12 August, 74,292 vehicles (cars, motorcycles, caravans and camper vans) and 776 coaches travelled (in both directions) between Folkestone, Kent, and Coquelles, Pas -de-Calais. Their journeys took just 30 minutes. This is the heaviest traffic ever seen in one week, since the end of Duty Free sales in 1999.
To manage these historic traffic levels, 838 Shuttle departures were needed, at a rate of 5 per hour, the equivalent to one departure every twelve minutes between the hours of 07:00 and 22:00. At the same time, a new daily record was also achieved, with 15,152 vehicles travelling across the Channel on Saturday 11 August in both directions.
This follows the increase in traffic seen as a result of the Olympic Games, when Le Shuttle continental bookings increased by 16% for the period from 23 July to 12 August. On top of this there were also 40 additional Eurostar departures during the Games. The Paralympic Games which start on 29 August should see this trend continue.
Jacques Gounon, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Groupe Eurotunnel SA stated:
“In a highly competitive market this new record demonstrates the efficiency and flexibility inherent to the Le Shuttle service, the professionalism of our staff and the attraction for the travelling public of a transport system that is both fast and environmentally friendly”.