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Today, 21 July 2010, Eurotunnel celebrates the passage of 250 million people through the Channel Tunnel since commercial services began, 16 years ago, in June 1994.
This significant number (equivalent to half the population of the European Union!), includes car and coach passengers on board Passenger Shuttles, Truck drivers and their companions travelling on Truck Shuttles and passengers on Eurostar trains between London, Paris and Brussels.
58% of the 250 million people are customers on Eurotunnel Shuttles, the car and truck carrying system that runs between Folkestone and Calais in just 35 minutes, with up to 10 departures per hour in each direction.
On average, since 1994, c. 43,000 people have passed through the Channel Tunnel every day (for comparison, that is the population of the City of Canterbury, or Arras).
Eurotunnel celebrated the 250 millionth person through the Channel Tunnel this morning in its passenger terminal building in Folkestone, amidst the crowds departing for their summer holidays. Amongst those present were two regular Shuttle passengers, Dr Marijke Korteweg and her granddaughter, Eva.
Dr Korteweg said "In Flemish, my surname means: the short route. I was somehow destined to become a frequent Shuttle user. 250 million passengers in just 16 years is very impressive. For millions of Europeans, the Channel Tunnel has really changed our lives. Going to England, or to the continent has become so easy and so quick....I can't imagine how we ever managed without it!"
Cheshire based Truck driver, Robert Irlam, is appreciative of the speed and frequency offered by Eurotunnel's Truck Shuttles: "The trip to Italy and back is a long one and it is important to get plenty of rest at the weekend after so much time on the road. Leaving on a Sunday night and using the Truck Shuttle means I can get to Italy and back home to Cheshire by Thursday evening. I get a decent break between runs and the customer gets the delivery first thing on Friday morning".
Jo Willacy, Eurotunnel Commercial Director, said: "The Channel Tunnel is now a vital link between Great Britain and the Continent. It is a reliable route for people and goods, which has become indispensable in Europe: 250 million people travelling through is proof enough of that. Eurotunnel works hard to maintain the quality of its transport system every day, adapting services to customers' needs, improving reliability and respect for the environment: so we know we are ready to welcome the next 250 million".
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