Friday, November 13, 1998 Published at 13:23 GMT
Business: The Company File
Eurotunnel prices to soar
Eurotunnel is to lose out on duty free sales next June
The cost of taking your car to continental Europe is set to soar.
News of the rise came as Eurotunnel drivers announced a series of one-day strikes in the Christmas run-up to press their demands for higher pay.
Drivers are demanding an increase from £17,200 to £24,000.
Aslef members, which the union says includes most of the 99 train drivers, voted overwhelmingly to hold 24-hour strikes on November 23, December 2, 9 and 15, starting at one minute past midnight.
Michael Rix, Aslef's general secretary said: "We deeply regret the inconvenience which will be caused to the travelling public, caused by Eurotunnel's refusal to negotiate an acceptable pay award."
Demise of the discount
The company said next year's fare rise would offset the loss in duty free sales.
The European Union plans to abolish duty free sales at the end of next June.
That will put an end to huge discounts on cigarettes and alcohol on offer at Eurotunnel's duty free shops.
The fare for a car travelling through the tunnel next July and August will rise to £279 compared to £220 last summer.
All at sea
Ferry operators and Eurotunnel have been engaged in a bitter price war ever since the Channel Tunnel was opened in 1994.
But the loss of duty free revenues is likely to lead to fare increases.
Not all bad news
However it is not all bad news. Passenger travelling before the summer rush can expect to pay lower fares.
Eurotunnnel is cutting prices between January and March.
Details of the new fares will be published on Eurotunnel's Internet site.
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