Eurostar: Services severely delayed over e-gate breakdown


Hundreds of Eurostar passengers are being held up at Gare du Nord in Paris due to a technical issue.

Eurostar said in a statement that a problem with UK Border Force e-gates had caused services to be delayed.

“We are sincerely sorry for the inconvenience caused,” the company said, advising customers to postpone their journeys to London if possible.

Hundreds of people were waiting at the Paris station on Thursday afternoon, many of them families with young children on their half-term break.

E-gates are self-service barriers which automatically read travellers’ passports. Passengers heading to London on the Eurostar go through both French and British passport control before getting on the train.

Services leaving London were also delayed, Eurostar’s service updates showed.

At Gare du Nord on Thursday, passengers heading to London were told to expect severe delays or last-minute cancellations. About 300 people could be seen standing in the queue to get to the immigration desk at the station.

Waiting in the queue for passport control was Kesha Hancock from Hertfordshire. She was returning to London with her husband Krys and their 10-year-old daughter, Hollie.

She told the BBC that the ordeal had proven a stressful end to the family’s holiday.

“This is the second time we have been to France in two years. The last time was on the ferry and this feels like déjà vu. I can’t help thinking that Brexit is the problem,” she said.

Lizanne O’Connor, from Surrey, described the scene as “slightly chaotic”.

“More information and clarity would be good,” she said, adding that she was travelling with her grandparents and children who had not been offered water.

“They keep repeating the same information!”

Dhruti Cramer, from Ohio in the US, told the BBC that despite the stressful situation most people, including staff, were remaining calm.

“If my children were younger, things would be more difficult!”

Eurostar said: “A technical problem is affecting the UK Border Forces e-gates at Gare du Nord, which is causing major delays on trains to London.

“We are awaiting the intervention of a technician to resolve this problem as quickly as possible and reduce the impact on our passengers.

“Eurostar teams are taking all measures to make sure that those who need to travel will be able to arrive in London.

“We advise those who can, to postpone their journey. We are offering affected customers exchanges free of charge or a full refund of their journey.

“We are sincerely sorry for the inconvenience caused.”

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