EUROTUNNEL says there will be no cut-price special offers for its Le Shuttle car- carrying service when tickets go on sale on 12 January. Le Shuttle's passenger sales director, Neil Cooper, says that, with a frequency of only two Shuttles an hour in each direction when the service opens in May, it will not be necessary to offer discounts.

With space for up to 180 cars for each shuttle, compared with the new breed of jumbo Channel ferries which can carry up to 600 cars, the Eurotunnel service will initially have a relatively limited capacity. Even when the service increases to four an hour by the end of August, it will still barely match the capacity of either the Stena Sealink or P&O ferries from Dover to Calais.

However, Le Shuttle claims that by 1996 it will have captured 50 per cent of all cross-Channel traffic, carrying around 15 million car passengers annually. Mr Cooper said that fares would be charged per car, regardless of the number of passengers and the vehicle's length.

Stena Sealink this week launched a pre-emptive strike on the Channel tunnel by introducing an Apex fare for 1994 that will offer a fifth off normal tariffs. On the Dover-Calais route, the Apex fare will cut the price of a five-day return for a car and five passengers to as little as pounds 70 in the off-season and up to pounds 160 in the summer peak, a saving of pounds 72.

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