Watchdog urges Eurostar improvements after snow chaos

Last weekend's Channel Tunnel travel chaos showed that the set-up of Eurostar and Eurotunnel "does not meet the information needs of passengers", the tunnel's Anglo-French supervisory body said today.

Both companies must jointly develop "satisfactory solutions in this matter", added the Channel Tunnel Intergovernmental Commission (IGC).



The commission said "passenger comfort should be understood in the broadest sense".



This included "material transport conditions, evacuation conditions and information", with the commission saying that "providing this comfort is an obligation for railway undertakings and for Eurotunnel".



Hundreds of passengers were trapped in the tunnel for hours when five high-speed trains became immobilised after extremely cold conditions in northern France led to snow affecting their electronics.



Passengers later spoke of nightmare conditions of cold and hunger.



Channel Tunnel Folkestone to Calais shuttle train company Eurotunnel suffered from the knock-on effect of the chaos.



The ICG said today that it had held an extraordinary meeting yesterday to analyse last weekend's events.



This was attended by former Eurotunnel commercial director Christopher Garnett and by French rail official Claude Gressier, who are conducting an independent inquiry into the debacle.



The commission said it had heard initial reports from Eurostar and Eurotunnel.



The commission said today: "The IGC wished to express its great sympathy to Eurostar passengers and also to those on Eurotunnel shuttles who were victims of these events."



The commission added that, after the meeting, it had "stated that the present organisation of the operators does not meet the information needs of passengers, and demanded of the two organisations that they jointly develop satisfactory solutions in this matter".



The ICG said it "noted" Eurostar's explanation of snow getting into the motors of the trains and also noted the measures the company had put in place to avoid a recurrence.



No Eurostar trains were able to run on Saturday, Sunday and Monday while modifications were made and tested.



Since then, the company has been able to run around two-thirds of its daily services between London and Paris and Brussels.



The independent report into the chaos is expected before the end of January and will be sent to UK and French ministers.









A Eurotunnel spokesman said: "We note the comments of the IGC.



"Eurotunnel mobilised all its resources on Friday night to ensure the safe rescue of the passengers of the five Eurostar trains."

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - Junior / Mid Weight

    £15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To support their continued grow...

    Recruitment Genius: Transportation Contracting Manager

    £33000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A global player and world leade...

    Recruitment Genius: Hotel and Spa Duty Manager

    £18000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are friendly, sociable, ...

    Recruitment Genius: Payroll and Benefits Co-ordinator

    £22300 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This museum group is looking for a Payro...

    Day In a Page

    Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

    'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

    If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
    The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

    The science of swearing

    What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
    Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

    Africa on the menu

    Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
    Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

    Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

    The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
    10 best statement lightbulbs

    10 best statement lightbulbs

    Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
    Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

    Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

    Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
    Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

    Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

    It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
    Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

    Dustin Brown

    Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
    Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

    Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

    Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test
    Tour de France 2015: Twins Simon and Adam Yates have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

    Twins have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

    Yates brothers will target the steepest sections in bid to win a stage in France
    John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

    Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

    'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
    Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

    Forget little green men

    Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
    Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

    Dying dream of Doctor Death

    Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy