Eurostar train
London's St Pancras Station is the UK’s main Euro terminal JASPER JACOBS

British people have been warned that Eurostar may decide to restrict the number of daily passengers travelling from London's St Pancras in the coming months.

This is because of the post-Brexit plans to introduce biometric border controls later this year, St Pancras station's owner has said.

The European Union (EU) is set to launch a new Entry/Exit System (EES), an automated IT system that will register citizens from non-EU countries, including the UK, each time they cross a border into or out of the EU.

HS1, the owner and operator of the train line and stations between London and the Channel tunnel, has expressed concerns that planning for new EES checks at St Pancras rail station in London is "severely inadequate", and would lead to long "unacceptable passenger delays" and possible capping of train services and passenger numbers.

One of the most popular routes of Eurostar is between London and Paris as it runs about 14 trains to the French capital from St Pancras a day, with each train carrying up to 900 people. Processing passengers on that route is going to get tough for Eurostar because the French government has allocated just 24 ESS kiosks, despite having been informed that nearly 50 booths would be needed at peak hours.

The owner of the route between London and the Channel Tunnel has also pointed out that limited space at the Pancras building would make implementing ESS checks hard. The lack of space would also mean that the queuing up process would be "convoluted and staggered" at St Pancras Station, the UK's main Euro terminal.

"We are told that the proposed kiosks are 'optional' as the process can be delivered at the border, but without about 49 additional kiosks located before the current international zone [at St Pancras] there would be unacceptable passenger delays of many hours and potential capping of services," HS1 wrote in evidence to MPs part of the European Scrutiny Select Committee.

It was earlier reported that there could be 14-hour-long queues for the next three years due to the upcoming new EU rules.

The new ESS checks will replace the stamping of passports and instead, travellers will be asked to register online with their personal information and trip details, along with submitting fingerprint and facial biometric data. Travellers will have to scan their passports or other travel documents at an automated self-service booth before crossing the EU border.

The new ESS checks are expected to come into place in October this year but the execution has been postponed several times in recent years because the infrastructure was not complete.