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calais fenceLONDON: The UK Rail Freight Group (RFG) says its members, Britain's largest rail operators, have lost £5 million in trade because the UK and French governments have failed to protect the Channel Tunnel from migrants.

The organization says despite the efforts of customers, rail freight operators and Eurotunnel to overcome disruptions over the past six months, train reliability has been hit because nobody knows when migrants will cause the tunnel to be shut.

In a letter to British prime minister David Cameron RFG chairman Tony Berkeley said: "The two governments must ensure by whatever means, the UK or French army, security services or police, that the Eurotunnel and SNCF terminals are fully protected as one entity so that operators can once more give their customers the protection that they have the right to expect."

Berkeley noted the additional use of dogs at Calais is "of limited help since the migrants have learned that the dogs are not allowed to bite people". Meanwhile a £7 million security fence is not due for completion until December.

"Better fences and a few more security staff will help only marginally," said the RFG chairman. "It is now time for a fundamental change to the support from UK and French Government and all options should be considered, including changed operational rules and much increased 24/7 security patrolling to provide comprehensive and wide ranging protection for our rail services, the people working in Calais and road transport."

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