French and British rail regulatory bodies publish opinions on the 2018 Network Statement of Eurotunnel

24 February 2017

The Office of Rail and Road ("ORR") and Autorité de Régulation des Activités Ferroviaires et Routières (“Arafer") are the responsible bodies for the regulation of the Chanel Fixed Link. Both organisations have published today their opinions on Eurotunnel’s 2018 Network Statement.

Both regulators call on Eurotunnel to improve the presentation and transparency of the applicable charging principles, as well as the resulting charges for use of the cross-border tunnel by train operators.

It is the duty of both regulators to ensure that access conditions to the Channel Fixed Link managed by Eurotunnel are transparent and fair for all train operators. This is intended to increase the confidence of existing users as well as facilitating use of the infrastructure by new entrants.

Eurotunnel’s 2018 Network Statement, which will come into force in December 2017, provides the technical, contractual and charging information necessary for an operator to run trains through the Channel Fixed Link.

ORR's opinion on Eurotunnel’s 2018 Network Statement pdf icon PDF, 705 Kb

Notes to editors

1. Regulation of the Channel Tunnel

The terms of access to the Channel Tunnel, and the charges for it, are controlled by the French and British regulatory authorities, ARAFER and the ORR.

Each year, the two regulators issue an opinion on the Eurotunnel Network Statement – checking that it contains no discriminatory clauses and does not grant discretionary powers to the infrastructure operator, which it could use to discriminate against railway companies. This is the first time that ORR and Arafer have issued an opinion under their formal powers.

Find out more information on how the Channel Tunnel is regulated.

2. About ARAFER & ORR


Since 2010, the French railway sector has had an independent regulatory body which accompanies its gradual opening to competition. The “Macron” Act of 6 August 2015 extends the powers of the regulator to road activities: coach transport and motorways.

On 15 October 2015, the rail regulatory body became the rail and road regulatory body (Arafer). Its mission is to contribute to the efficient operation of the public service and competitive activities for the benefit of rail and road transport customers. Its public opinions and decisions are adopted by a group composed of seven independent members chosen due to their expertise in railway, road, legal or economic matters or because of their expertise in competition matters and has been chaired since August 2016 by Bernard Roman.


As an independent regulator, ORR operates within the framework set by UK and EU legislation and is accountable through Parliament and the courts. We are an independent statutory body, with powers vested by Parliament in our board. All members of the board are appointed by the Secretary of State for Transport, for a fixed term of up to five years.