The cross channel operator Eurotunnel has announced it is pulling out of a bid to take over the running of two French ports. The firm had said it was interested in operating Calais and Bolougne after helping to launch a new ferry service.
However the proposal has already been criticised by the Competition Commission for potentially pushing up prices to cross the channel. Derek Johnson explains.
Waiting time of up to 30 minutes to freight Eurotunnel service at Folkestone due to high volume of traffic. There is an hour's waiting time on the terminal for freight services. There is no waiting time before check-in, and passenger services are not affected.
TRAVEL: KENT 1 hr delays, Eurotunnel freight services
There is a waiting time of up to one hour to freight Eurotunnel service at Folkestone due to high volume of traffic. There is an hour's waiting time on the terminal for freight services. There is no waiting time before check-in, and passenger services are not affected.
The French authorities have shut the A16 leading to the port of Calais and Eurotunnel. This will cause major delays to freight. Eurostar has suspended passenger services between Britain and France because of the weather. Lines in France are blocked by snow.
The company is advising passengers with tickets for today not to go to Ashford International or St Pancras, they say refunds will be paid.
Eurotunnel has said it is not surprised at the Competition Commission report and has confirmed it will challenge its findings.
The provisional findings conclude that the addition of the new operator, MyFerryLink, would be detrimental to competition and could lead to an increase in prices.
In a statement on its website, Eurotunnel says that it considers that the acquisition of the ex SeaFrance ships, nine months after it ceased all operations, and the creation of MyFerryLink, constitutes an increase in competition and brings additional choice
Eurotunnel intends to continue to work with the Competition Commission to allay the concerns raised by existing ferry operators and to demonstrate that the creation of MyFerryLink is a good thing for the market as it is both procustomer and pro-competition.
– Jacques Gounon, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Eurotunnel