HC Deb 19 March 2002 vol 382 c229W
Miss McIntosh

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what assessment he has made of the impact on freight transport movements of the closure of the facilities at Sangatte over the weekend of 8 to 10 March. [43054]

Mr. Jamieson

The Sangatte centre did not close, nor did the nearby rail freight terminal at Fréthun operated by SNCF (the French railway company). Rail freight services to the UK through the channel tunnel are however currently severely disrupted as a result of the actions of would-be illegal immigrants trying to board the trains at Fréthun. SNCF are currently not accepting new traffic bound for the UK through the tunnel, while the backlog of trains in transit is cleared.

We are continuing to press the French Government at the highest levels to ensure that sufficient police resources are made available as soon as possible to enable the normal level of freight services to resume, free from disruption.