Cross-Channel 2014: Bumper Year All Round – Monte-Carlo Classic Rally

Analysing the annual results from Eurotunnel, the ferries and Port of Dover reveals some interesting trends.

Plus, drivers set off from Glasgow (and Barcelona, Turin, Reims and Copenhagen) in a recreation of the original Monte-Carlo ‘rally’. Also, annoying road works on the A8 to Luxembourg and E40 to Calais and Dunkirk.



Coaches shift to the ferries, cars to Eurotunnel while trucks seemingly hedge bets.


It was a decent year all round for cross-Channel operators – the industry looks to have recovered from the Credit Crunch – but the prize for achieving the most milestones goes to Eurotunnel.

Total revenue from passenger shuttles grew by 7% to pass the €500m mark for the first time.

The number of cars using the Channel Tunnel increased by 4% to crash through the 2.5m barrier (compared to the short crossing market overall which grew by 1.5%).

Meanwhile, industry association Direct Ferries says the total number of cars crossing between the UK and the Continent by ferry grew by just 0.9% to 3.82m.

Eurotunnel might be increasingly popular with car drivers – the operator has a firm majority market share now of 51.4% – but it fared less well with trucks and coaches.

The number of trucks might have grown 6% in 2014 but the market as a whole expanded by 8% admits the Channel Tunnel operator.

At the same time the amount of freight moving through Dover hit record levels. The port saw 2.42m trucks in 2014, up 9.7% on 2013 and 2.5% higher than the previous record set in 2007.

Eurotunnel maintains its market share of the cross Channel truck market remained stable at 37.8%. The only sector that fell was coaches, down by 2%.

While Direct Ferries says the overall numbers of coaches crossing the Channel by grew by 6.2% to 110,000, Dover-Calais operator MyFerryLink saw coach numbers grow a huge 118% (with trucks up 22% and cars up 7%).


The Historique Monte Carlo Rally. More later.

Unlike the modern World Rally Championship Monte Carlo Rally – which starts and finishes in Monaco – the Rallye Monte-Carlo Historique begins like the original used to, in the home cities of competitors (or thereabouts). Last Wednesday, the first runners left Glasgow with those from Copenhagen leaving the next day and from Turin, Barcelona and Reims on Friday. The drivers met – or ‘rallied’ – in Saint-Andre-des-Alpes on Saturday where the timed stages began. Since then the cars have taken in all the classic roads of the original – as far north as Valence – before the finish, at dawn, tomorrow morning in Monaco. See a blow-by-blow account of the route at Photo Mercedes 190SL on the 2014 event, Automobile Club de Monaco.


Road works roundup: GERMANY. The A8 between Saarlouis and Luxembourg at Merzig will shut alternately for three weeks this month for tree clearing, in the direction of Luxembourg from Thursday-Saturday 5-14 February then towards Saarlouis Tuesday-Saturday 17-21 February. The diversion throughout will be via the parallel L170. BELGIUM. The France-bound side of the E40 (A18) just across the Belgian border will be resurfaced from next Monday (16 February) until early April. Traffic will be contraflowed on the Ostend/Brussels-bound carriageway – from J2 Oostduinkerke and J1 Veurne (exits closed) – and limited to 70kmh. As this is the main route between the Chanel Ports and Belgium delays are likely. The contractors are working six days each week to complete the work ahead of the Easter holidays..


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