More passengers travel under the English Channel than on it for the first time
More passengers travelled under the English Channel than on it
for the first time since the tunnel was opened in 1994.
The number of people using the Shuttle and Eurostar trains was
20 million last year, compared to 19.7m going by ferry (7% down on
2011), according to the latest Department for Transport
However, Chunnel figures include more than nine million who
travelled by Eurostar high-speed trains, leaving around 11m
travelling by Le Shuttle. Dover, the UK's busiest ferry port,
handled 11.9m passengers.
Eurotunnel spokesman John Keefe said the main influence on the
figures was the switch from air to the short sea route between
Dover or Cheriton and Calais/Dunkirk.
Numbers were broadly similar to previous years and the switch to
the Shuttle and ferries were “in equal proportions.”
“What we are definitely seeing is that since 2008 there has been
a fairly steady trend of people moving away from airlines as the
cost and the hassle factor become exacerbated,” he said.
“A family going on holiday is now more prone to bundle up all
the kids and the luggage and only have to get out at their
destination rather than go through all the stop-start at
“A lot of the passenger traffic has transferred from the airline
industry rather than a direct transfer from the ferries. We’re not
pinching their traffic.”
Carsten Jensen, senior vice president at DFDS Seaways in Dover,
added: “I am not surprised or overly concerned by these figures, as
passengers who use our ferries normally do so because they enjoy
the relaxing on-board experience and the range of eateries and
on-board entertainment facilities available to them.
“This is a very different proposition to the Tunnel.
"However, I do believe these figures underline the importance of
ensuring that we have high quality facilities at the port of Dover
and that passengers are able to make a smooth journey through the
port and on to the ferries.”
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