Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

France faces legal action over Chunnel refugees

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.

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Please note comments made online may also be published in the print edition of New Civil Engineer. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.