Eurotunnel spends £1m on HGV driver accommodation upgrade

Eurotunnel has underlined its commitment to its freight services with a £1m upgrade to the drivers’ accommodation.

Some of the existing driver wagons date back to the introduction of the service twenty years ago and were beginning to show their age.

The whole fleet of 11 will have been upgraded to the new specification by the end of this year. The new Club Cars feature a 2+1 arrangement for the comfortable memory foam seats, with armrests and dropdown tables, and plenty of leg and elbow room.

Each Club Car has 54 fixed seats, with another six folding down for extra capacity. New vending machines for snacks and drinks, all priced at €1, and rest rooms complete with countryside murals and authentic imitation wooden toilet lids complete the transformation.

The new mobile phone service throughout the length of the crossing is now operational on the France to England tunnel, with the opposite tunnel due to gain the service during March.

Move to tackle Orwell Bridge traffic chaos

HGVs bound for Felixstowe could be directed to parking areas west of the Orwell Crossing in Suffolk after concerns were repeatedly raised about traffic chaos when the bridge closes.

Tim Passmore, the police and crime commissioner for the county, said he was willing to engage with government “at the highest level” to sort out problems on the A14 caused by strong winds or collisions on the bridge.

Last month there was severe disruption on the crossing after a three-vehicle crash, and Passmore said that a 60mph limit will start this summer in an effort to prevent future accidents.

But he also said that the region’s traffic commissioner, the Road Haulage Association and the Highways Agency [HA] will be invited to discuss what to do about HGVs travelling to the port when the bridge is forced to shut.

“If we direct people off the A14, sat-navs send people all over and makes things worse.We also need to prevent lorries travelling so far when the port shuts.

“The HA recognises it’s an international route and not just about Suffolk. We haven’t had the investment we should have had,” said Passmore.

A spokeswoman for the HA said: "We can confirm that a reduced speed limit on the Orwell Bridge will be in place this calendar year and our intention is that it is in place by the end of the summer.

"Average speed cameras will be in place during financial year 14/15 - we will be able to be more specific on timescale once necessary preparatory work has taken place."