RHA shocked by possibility of Eurotunnel night-time closures

Rumours that Eurotunnel services may be withdrawn during the night have been met with dismay by the Road Haulage Association (RHA).  The option is said to have been discussed by government ministers during a recent Cobra committee meeting.

Eurotunnel scaled back its night-time services recently, as migrant incursions continue to cause disruption.  However, despite the ongoing volatility of the situation, the fixed-link operator has reported that its Shuttle services saw exceptional traffic volumes for both freight and passenger traffic during July – around 243,000 vehicles used the service during the month.

Richard Burnett, RHA’s chief executive, commented: “The latest suggestion to address the issue of migrants entering the Channel Tunnel at night simply beggars belief.  The idea would cost far more in terms of damage to the economy than it could ever gain in terms of increased security during the hours of darkness.”

The RHA is also reiterating its call for the deployment of the French military to provide increased security on the ground to secure the Tunnel, contain and segregate the migrant contingent and thereby protect the drivers of heavy goods vehicles.

The Association also outlines that the cessation of Eurotunnel’s night-time services will have ‘a catastrophic effect on the efficiency and capacity of the freight traffic that relies on this connection to Calais for the transfer of goods between the UK and rest of Europe’.

Concluding, Mr Burnett said: “Cross-Channel freight capacity has already been severely impacted since the MyFerryLink ships have been out of action.  To consider a move that would reduce the capacity even further would be a detrimental step that would serve no useful purpose whatsoever.

“At a time when the economy, UK hauliers, holidaymakers and the people of Kent are really suffering, is this really the best that anyone can come up with?”

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