During the year of 2000, 2.8 million cars travelled down the Eurotunnel, 80,000 coaches did the same thing along with 1.1 million trucks. Also, 7.1 million passengers went on Eurostar services from London towards Paris, Lille and Brussels. In addition, 2.9 million tonnes of freight made the journey. 57 million people, which is around and about the population of the UK , actually travelled on a passenger shuttle service between 1994 and 2000
There were many bidders for the franchise to build the Channel Tunnel. Margaret Thatcher and Francois Mitterand announced on 20 January 1986 that Eurotunnel had won the contract. On the 12th of February the two countries' foreign ministers signed the French - British treaty in Canterbury, Kent. The actual concession was awarded on the 14th or March, where the two concessionaires were granted the obligation and the right to develop, finance, construct and operate the Eurotunnel. The Fixed Link Treaty was ratified on 29th July 1987, which allowed the Channel Tunnel to become reality.
So now the Channel Tunnel infrastructure is managed by Eurotunnel, which operates accompanied truck shuttles in addition to passenger shuttle services for cars and coaches between Folkestone in the UK and Coquelles in France. Revenue also comes from the Eurostar as well as SNCF and EWS which use the tunnel to carry rail freight. You can buy shares in the Eurotunnel on the Paris, Brussels and London stock exchanges.
The tunnel is 50km long, and 39km of this is under the sea, making it the longest tunnel under the sea in the world, with the tunnels lying on average 40 metres below the English Channel 's seabed. The system consists of three tunnels, with two tunnels through which the shuttles move as well as a central tunnel used by service vehicles, which is a 'safe haven' with a higher air pressure making it free of fumes and smoke.
For further passenger protection, all of the trains are protected by Automatic Train Protection (ATP) which takes over the train should the driver make an error and will bring the shuttle to a controlled stop.
The Pet Travel scheme allows passengers to take their pets across the channel much more easily than previously (very difficult on the plane and not easy on a boat). Between February 2000 and June 2002 almost 35,000 cats and dogs crossed the channel with Eurotunnel.
A second Channel Tunnel has now been proposed, so Eurotunnel should go from strength to strength.