RAIL FREIGHT operators this week urged European internal market commissioner Frits Bolkestein to take legal action against France over its continued failure to stop asylum seekers disrupting Channel Tunnel trains.
Services were further delayed on Monday night when an estimated 100 asylum seekers entered Britain on a freight train.
Services through the Channel Tunnel were initially suspended in November following repeated incursions onto trains by asylum seekers in Calais. They were again suspended last month (NCE 21 March).
Rail Freight Group chairman Lord Berkeley was due to meet Bolkestein on Tuesday night.
He said the aim of the meeting was to pressure Bolkenstein to take legal action to force France to beef up security at SNCF's Frethun freight yard near Calais. Fences at the yard are easily scaled by refugees from the Sangatte Red Cross FRANCE: Under pressure.
centre just down the road.
Bolkenstein has already warned the French government that its failure to act is in breach of the Treaty of Rome which advocates free movement of goods throughout the European Union.
This week, only seven freight trains a night were passing through the Channel Tunnel, compared to the peak service of 20.
A spokesman for English Welsh and Scottish (EWS) railways said political pressure was required.
It is that estimated UK operators have lost £17M since November.