Channel Tunnel security improvements almost complete

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Additional efforts to secure the French Channel Tunnel terminal, in particular around the departure platforms, are almost complete, according to Eurotunnel.

In a statement, the company said: “Allied to the increased numbers and superior organisation of the police authorities, the attempted intrusions by migrants are now being brought under control. Eurotunnel, in accordance with the law and international agreements continues its efforts to prevent any migrants from reaching the United Kingdom illegally.

“Eurotunnel apologises to its customers for delays that have been caused by the resulting interceptions and would like to thank them for their continuing loyalty.”

And it said that despite the problems at Calais, its shuttle services had seen exceptional traffic volumes for both Freight and Passenger traffic in July, with around 243,0001 vehicles transported.

◉  Specialist freight insurer the TT Club has set out a series of steps that operators need to take to help defend against claims for loss and damage to cargo as a result of migrants attempting to gain access to trailers and containers in Calais.

It said that it is essential not only to have a system in place but also to demonstrate that it is effective. Measures include:

  • Provide written procedures and instructions to all drivers, highlighting the risks.
  • Provide robust security measures and devices to secure the vehicle, trailer and cargo.
  • Provide all drivers with a security check list
  • Provide training to all drivers on the above
  • Closely monitor all drivers to ensure compliance.
  • Regular checks of the vehicle, trailer and cargo, creating an audit trail.

The UK Border Force has published a document outlining ten steps to avoiding a fine.

The British International Freight Association has given a cautious welcome to the decision to use Manston Airport as a lorry park top alleviate congestion caused by the problems with the Dover-Calais crossing.

Director general Robert Keen said: “BIFA welcomes anything that will improve conditions for our members in the short term. It’s only a short term fix, and will increase fuel costs, but we understand that this is a site where 2,000 lorries can be held, and will remove a lot of HGVs off the M20.

“However, we still insist that the British and French governments must do whatever is necessary to step up their protection of the routes across the Channel and fulfil their obligations to let trade move unhindered before serious damage is done to this strategic freight route.”

NatWest Bank is offering additional support to business customers affected by the disruption at Dover.

Working with Lombard, it’s asset finance arm, and RBS Invoice Finance, the bank is offering customers additional support including the extension of overdrafts, invoice finance and loans.

Neil Bellamy, Head of Business Services at NatWest, said: “We’re committed to working closely with businesses to support them as best we can. This may come in the form of an overdraft extensions, loan repayment holiday or extension of repayment terms.”

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