Security is also one of the utmost priorities to Eurotunnel. Just like safety, security of people and goods (customers, Eurotunnel staff,...) remains daily at the heart of Eurotunnel’s choices.

Security: enhanced protection on the Coquelles site

To ensure effective control over attempted intrusions on its sites, Eurotunnel, which is neither responsible for border control nor has policing powers, works closely with the State Authorities. The group is developing high-tech solutions with a view to maintaining the quality of service for its customers and the safety of its staff, customers and migrants.

To face up to attempted intrusions from migrants since of few years, Eurotunnel has put into place an important security equipment system, reinforced each year with new additional high-tech means. Other equipments on sites aim to improve the efficiency, effectiveness and speed of border controls on Terminals to provide an almost total border protection.

The service has not been dirupted by migrant intrusion attempts on Coquelles site since October 2015. The major investment programme and the support of the British and French governments have succeeded in restoring normal levels of security at the French terminal. The multi-year security plan continued in 2016 with two complementary objectives: to further increase the efficiency of security measures whilst maintaining the fluidity of traffic on site. It includes:

  • The construction of a new Security Control Centre which, since it became operational at the beginning of 2017, manages 1,500 alarms and their connections to the 570 cameras of all types via a hypervisor and a video wall. If required, a crisis room can accommodate representatives from the various authorities concerned.
  • Scanners for commercial vans are now in service on the Folkestone and Coquelles passenger terminals to check for the potential presence of weapons, explosives and illicit materials. This investment means that Customs do not have to send these vehicles to the truck scanner, and thus maintains the flow of traffic.
  • In Coquelles, two new buildings will allow heartbeat detection, in order to identify any possible human presence on board tankers and refrigerated trucks, allowing four vehicles to be checked simultaneously.
  • From June 2017, if a human presence is detected on a Truck Shuttle, the train will be diverted to a siding track, under construction in Coquelles, before entering the Tunnel, allowing it to be inspected without other trains being disrupted.
  • The installation of a 3rd scanner capable of comprehensively checking rail freight trains in Fréthun, on the national network, should contribute to the development of cross-Channel rail freight.
New Security Control Centre



In 2017, the Coquelles terminal in figures:

650 hectares in size

37km of 4m high security fencing, supplemented by infrared barriers, vibration detection cables, etc

300 security agents, three times more than in 2014.

Full official support

When attempted intrusions by migrants trying to reach the United Kingdom increased in summer 2015, both the French and British governments quickly showed the strength of their support for the smooth operation of the Channel Tunnel. This was evidenced by the visits to Coquelles on 20 August of the British Home Secretary Theresa May and French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve then, on 31 August, the French Prime Minister Manuel Valls, accompanied by European Commissioners Frans Timmermans and Dimitris Avramopoulos.

The presence of the authorities at Coquelles illustrates the vital importance of the Fixed Link in terms of international cooperation. In line with their sovereign responsibilities as confirmed in the Treaty of Canterbury, both governments provided operational responses to the terminal’s security, which is similar to that of a large international airport.

The Francp-British border located on the Coquelles terminal enables highly effective joint control by the two States, simplifying the passengers' journey.



Identity checks upon leaving the United Kingdom

Since April 2015, British law has required cross-Channel operators, as with all ports and airports, to check the identity of people leaving the country. Working closely with the British authorities, Eurotunnel implemented an Advance Passenger Information system (API) that enables Le Shuttle customers to provide the required identity information online when making a booking. An investment of £1M was made by Eurotunnel to implement the appropriate checks.

To find out more on Eurotunnel Group, please refer to the 2016 Annual review of Eurotunnel Group.