HC Deb 31 March 1994 vol 240 cc1030-1W
Mr. Spearing

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to his oral answer to the hon. Member for Blackpool, South (Mr. Hawkins) of 21 March,Official Report, column 2, what is the fastest practical time taken by freight wagons currently crossing the channel by train ferry, inclusive of marshalling at Dover and Calais and the total time now taken by such freight from Manchester or Liverpool to Marseille; and what percentage of that time is likely to be saved, inclusive of marshalling at Frethun and Dollands Moor, by use of the channel tunnel.

Mr. Freeman

The information requested is as follows:

Fastest possible time: Manchester to Avignon
Present ferry services Via the channel tunnel
Conventional freight wagons 36 hours 32 hours
Intermodal wagons 4 to 5 days 32 hours

The Dover to Dunkerque trainferry is suitable only for conventional freight. Intermodal freight, which is expected to make up the majority of channel tunnel freight services, currently uses the Harwich to Zeebrugge lo-lo ferry.

The nearest rail terminal to Marseille scheduled to handle channel tunnel freight is Avignon.