Channel Tunnel customers are being ripped off
Passengers travelling through the Channel Tunnel (or 'Chunnel' if you're from the '90s) are being ripped off accordin to the European Commission. The EC have demanded that Eurotunnel slash their "excessive" £32 per passenger return levy plus per train fee.
They state that these charges are putting other train companies off entering the market and it is giving Eurostar an unfair dominance. Not only that, the grown in passenger numbers is too slow, held back by these high charges.
As a result, the number of goods trains is falling annually and shipping companies are relying on carbon-intensive road travel instead.
Vice president of the European Commission Siim Kallas said: “The Channel Tunnel is not being used to its full capacity because of these excessive charges. As a result, more freight is being carried on lorries instead of by rail; freight operators and their customers are being overcharged, and passengers are paying over the odds for their tickets. The current regime is also stifling growth in the rail sector.”
A spokeswoman for Eurostar said: “We are keen to encourage more passengers to travel with us and to new destinations and the cost is a significant factor in that. If the cost of going through the tunnel is lower then we have greater flexibility on destinations.”
The EC added that the Channel Tunnel regulator, IGC, wasn't independent which is obviously a problem: “Lack of independence of a rail regulator can lead to failure by the regulator to address complaints by operators in an independent manner or to adopt decisions to force compliance with EU rules and thus can lead to distortions of competition”.