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Drive-through Channel Tunnel on study agenda

EUROTUNNEL IS considering a new drive-through Channel Tunnel by 2025 as one of its range of options for a second crossing between Britain and France.

Last week the Channel Tunnel operator appointed British consultant Maunsell and Scetauroute of France to look at options for a second crossing.

The wide ranging brief includes exploring designs for a road or rail bridge in addition to a drive-through tunnel. It also includes the option of running a rail shuttle system similar to that in the existing Channel Tunnel.

Eurotunnel has commissioned the study to keep open its option on exclusive rights to build a second link. Under the 1987 Channel Tunnel Act, it has to put forward proposals by 2000 to keep the right to build and operate the link.

It will then have until 2020 to start building. The existing Channel Tunnel is not expected to reach full capacity until 2025, but after 2020 the Government has the right to invite other groups to bid for the second crossing.

Plans for the existing Channel Tunnel also included a drive through option, but were abandoned.

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