Security

Security means ensuring the safety of people (customers, employees of Eurotunnel and subcontractors,…) and goods, protecting the integrity of the facilities and enabling authorities to carry out effective border controls. It also means protecting those who face life-threatening risks by trying to get into a site where around 350 trains run on a daily basis, beneath a 25,000-volt catenary cable.

Investments and seamless cooperation with the Governments

The security of such a strategic infrastructure as the Channel Tunnel, which provides a vital link between the United Kingdom and the continent, is a crucial priority for the public authorities in both France and the UK, as well as for Eurotunnel.

The Group was entrusted by the Treaty of Canterbury, signed on 12 February 1986 to be the Concessionaire for the cross-Channel Fixed Link. This founding document set out the respective responsibilities of the States and the Concessionaire regarding security. Eurotunnel, which has no police powers or any authority for border control, is required to provide the governments with the means to exercise their sovereign responsibilities.

security 2015: Theresa May and Bernard Cazeneveuve signing the agreement on strengthening security measures related to the migration crisis in Calais
security 2015: Manuel Valls and Bernard Cazeneuve visiting the Coquelles Terminal

Security plan

Since the outset of the migrant crisis context in 2015, the multi-year action plan implemented by Getlink has put a stop to the intrusion attempts on the Eurotunnel site and to the disruption to operations. In order to guarantee a trouble-free crossing to the various businesses, hauliers and all its customers, Eurotunnel is pursuing its efforts on the various measures to strengthen the security of the site which includes:

  • 30km of 4 metre high security fencing, protected by detection cables
  • 9km of infrared barriers
  • 600 video cameras (operating day and night)
  • A new Security Control Centre capable of managing up to 1,500 alarms
  • A further two scanners for vans
  • Seven mobile squadrons of the gendarmerie complemented with a team of 300 security agents including 135 dog handlers
  • A building equipped with a heartbeat detection system to detect all movement of a human presence onboard four trucks simultaneously
  • A siding track located before the entrance to the tunnel where a train could be diverted if needed for inspection without disrupting other rail traffic
  • A third scanner to control an entire rail freight train in order to detect the presence of all dense materials, including weapons, explosives or illicit substances.

Other equipment on sites aim to improve the efficiency, effectiveness and speed of border controls on Terminals to provide an almost total border protection.

    New Security Control Centre

    security

    Scanners

    In 2017, the Coquelles terminal comprises:

    • 650 hectares in size
    • 37km of 4m high security fencing, lined with infrared barriers, vibration detection cables…
    • 300 security agents, three times more than in 2014.

    As for the UK side, since the introduction of the British law requiring cross-Channel operators (ports and airports) to check the identity of people leaving the country, Eurotunnel implemented, in close relations with the British authorities, an Advance Passenger information system (API): Le Shuttle customers provide the required identity information online when making a booking.

    To find out more on Eurotunnel, please refer to the 2017 Annual review of the Group.