Eurotunnel under pressure to reduce freight charges
Eurotunnel has been ordered to reduce the price of its charges following an investigation by the European Commission which found prices to be too high.
The charges are in relation to both passenger and freight trains crossing the channel tunnel between the UK and France, with fees reportedly as much as twice as high as they need to be.
If Eurotunnel fails to respond to the results of the inquest within two months, then the Commission may be forced to take court action against the company who has been running the notorious cross-channel operation since 1986.
A reservation fee of €4,320 is charged to Eurostar at present for a one-way journey but there have been suggestions that Eurotunnel could get by on around half of that figure.
Regulations dictate that the fees should fall in line with the wear caused per journey but the anomaly was brought to the Commission’s attention as a result of reducing passenger numbers.
The tunnel is currently operating at 43 percent below capacity due to the costs of travelling, but the argument has now been presented to the company that reduced prices would bring in enough new travelers to offset the initial losses in reservation income.
Eurotunnel may have a difficult time pleading their case too, with other European freight train service providers such as Deutsche Bahn opening new routes; indicating that regulated charges are still allowing for significant profits to be made.