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2002-03-26 DTR-001
Department of Transport, Local Government and the Regions

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Spellar and French counterpart agree progress rail freight


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Department of Transport, Local Government and the Regions



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Department of Transport, Local Government and the Regions

Spellar and French counterpart agree progress rail freight
_______________________________________________________________


date
26 Mar 2002 00:00
source Department of Transport, Local Government and the Regions
type Press release



Minister for Transport John Spellar today noted the outcome of the meeting in Paris yesterday between French and British officials.

He also spoke while in Brussels today with the French Transport Minister Jean- Claude Gayssot.

He thanked the French Minister for the additional measures to deal with the disruption to rail freight services through the Channel Tunnel caused by illegal migration but stressed his continuing concern at the time being taken to implement them.

John Spellar said:

"I stressed to the French Minister that we have urgent problems in dealing with the growth in illegal migration.

"The two sides have agreed to monitor implementation closely - both of the physical security measures and the build-up of security personnel.

"Rail freight is moving again through the tunnel but at present it remains around half the normal level.

"That is why we are looking for a rapid return to normal service with tough security to prevent illegal migration."

NOTES TO EDITORS

Minister for Transport John Spellar met with Jean-Claude Gayssot during the European Transport Council in Brussels on 26th March 2002.

A copy of the joint Franco-British Statement agreed on Monday 25th March 2002 is attached.

JOINT FRANCO-BRITISH STATEMENT

British and French delegations met in Paris on 25 March 2002 in the framework of a technical group of the Cross-Channel Commission in order to examine answers to the latest developments near the Channel Tunnel caused by the phenomenon of clandestine immigration to the United Kingdom.

Both delegations were keen to reaffirm strongly the considerable importance that they attach to international rail freight and combined transport, which are essential for a modal shift at the European level, and their common will to work actively for its development.

Both delegations were keen to recall that current events near the Channel Tunnel also have a human dimension and result from a more global problem linked to clandestine immigration, which requires common reflection and the search for appropriate solutions, in particular at the European Union level.

Meanwhile, and in the immediate term, both delegations agreed on the need to ensure in the shortest possible time the resumption of the normal rail freight service through the Channel Tunnel, and emphasised its economic importance for both their countries.

The French delegation outlined new reinforcement measures for protecting and securing the Calais-Frethun site. This programme, which will be implemented as quickly as possible, supplements the measures already put in place and the strengthened deployment of police and security personnel around the site since 18 March, which have allowed a progressive restoration of traffic to begin.

The French and British delegations noted these measures with approval and agreed to keep their effectiveness under regular review.

Press Enquiries: 020 7944 3108 Out of Hours: 020 7944 5925 E-mail: press@dtlr.gov.uk
Public Enquiries: 020 7944 3000
DTLR website: http://www.dtlr.gov.uk



Railhub Archive ::: 2002-03-26 DTR-001





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