No Eurotunnel queues with new travel system, boss says

Image source, Getty Images

The boss of Eurotunnel has insisted there will be no long queues of cars at its stations when the new EU travel system begins in October.

Britons heading to and from Europe will need to register fingerprints and photographs at the border, which has sparked warnings of delays.

Eurotunnel CEO Jan Lerich said journeys would take between five and seven minutes longer, but the additional lanes and technology meant the process would go smoothly.

The BBC has given its first look at the new machines people will need to use in Folkestone or Calais.

At the Port of Dover, Eurostar’s St Pancras station and the Eurotunnel at Folkestone, French border police check passports when people leave the UK.

The European Union is long overdue Entry and exit systemor EES, will replace the manual passport stamp.

Citizens of countries outside the bloc, including the UK, will need to register their biometric information.

It has been repeated there Warnings As a result, calls to postpone the launch of the EES service again.

Comment on the photo, Jan Leriche says the new process will be “very smooth”

There were hopes that the app being developed by the European Union could enable some registrations to be done from home, but this is the case. It is not expected to be ready For use in October.

At Eurotunnel’s Folkestone and Calais sites, we saw how the company that runs buses transporting vehicles and goods through the Channel Tunnel was preparing for the new system.

The equivalent of £70 million is being spent on building processing zones, where people queue in their cars to use the automatic machines.

Jan Lerich, chief executive of Eurotunnel operator Getlink, told the BBC that travelers would “simply do it”. [get] They get out of their car, spend a few minutes at their kiosks, then get back into their car and continue their journey.”

He said it would take “an additional five to seven minutes to cross,” but added, “Since we have expanded the number of lanes, there will be no delays on the highway, nothing. It will happen in a very smooth way.”

The company will hire 140 new employees to assist passengers.

Comment on the photo, Construction site in Folkestone for the Eurotunnel entry and exit system processing area

I demoed one of the prototypes of the machines that Eurotunnel will use in its stations.

First, it took a scan of my passport.

Next, the device took a photo of my face.

I was then asked to place my right hand on another scanning pad, which recorded my fingerprints.

A series of questions about my trip appeared on the touchscreen, and I had to answer them with a “yes” or “no” answer.

In the Port of Dover, the plan is a little different.

Port staff will have iPads for car passengers to record their information.

Buses will be processed off-site at Western Docks, through electronic gates or kiosks.

Comment on the photo, The BBC saw machines developed by Eurotunnel to pick up people’s details when the entry and exit system starts up

Monday marks 30 years since Queen Elizabeth II and President Mitterrand participated in the official opening ceremony of the Channel Tunnel.

Paying passengers had to wait several additional months to make the journey on Eurostar trains.

The tunnel opened £2 billion over budget. The company running it almost went bankrupt at one point, but later became profitable and services continued through the tunnel.

With the end of the pandemic and preparations underway to introduce EES, Getlink president Mr. Leriche wants to see an increasing number of trains passing through the tunnel.

Eurostar, a separate company from Eurotunnel, operates passenger services from London St Pancras via the Channel Tunnel to Paris and beyond. Since the opening of the tunnel, it has been the only operator to do so.

Now, there is talk of rival operators emerging.

“We are confident that over the next ten years, there will be a doubling of direct connectivity between London and Europe,” Lerich said.

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