French Truckers’ Strike Fails to Block Port
April 14-16: British trippers and truckers were able to move freely between the UK and France today after a French lorry drivers’ dispute failed to create the chaos that had been feared.
It had been thought that ports would be blockaded in the strike which began on Sunday night.
But UK ferry and haulage companies reported that ports, including Calais, were blockade-free.
And there were further reports that police had ordered strikers to remove blockades that had been set up on French inland roads.
“It’s very much business as usual, and the strikers seem to be leaving the ports alone,” said a spokeswoman for Dover-Calais ferry operator P&0 Ferries.
UK Freight Transport Association spokesman Geoff Dossetter said: “Eurotunnel car and freight shuttle services are working well and there are no queues at Dover.”
Air services between the UK and France were being badly affected by a separate dispute involving French air traffic controllers from 10pm today to 6am on Wednesday.
British Airways was cancelling a total of 62 flights to and from Gatwick and Heathrow just before and during the 32-hour pay strike.
A further 12 return services operated by BA’s CitiExpress from UK regional airports have also been cancelled.
Budget carrier Go was also rescheduling its flights to Nice and Lyon, and low-cost carriers Ryanair, buzz and easyJet said they were monitoring the situation and were poised to make changes if necessary.
Ferry passengers arriving at the port of Dover this morning reported no delays or any signs of industrial action in France.
A P&O spokeswoman said: “We are not experiencing any problems at all this morning at Dover. It is business as usual with ferries arriving on time. […] There are also no indications that there will be any problems later today.”