Posted 30th June 2015 | 2 Comments

Striking French ferry workers disrupt Eurostar again

THE Channel Tunnel has been closed again, and train and shuttle services have been badly disrupted, because striking Calais ferry workers have closed the port and started fires on the tracks approaching the tunnel.

MyFerryLink workers staged a lightning strike yesterday for the second time in a week over the sale of the company's ferries, which has been forced on MyFerryLink owner Eurotunnel by the British Competition and Markets Authority.

P&O Ferries claimed that security at Calais had been 'abandoned', and there are reports that some Eurostar trains bound for the Continent have been turned back to London.

Meanwhile, thousands of travellers are stranded on the French coast once again.

Helen Deeble, the chief executive of P&O Ferries, told the BBC: "Through no fault of their own, our passengers are caught in the middle of an industrial relations battle that has been caused by Eurotunnel. This has left thousands of holidaymakers and lorry drivers stranded without adequate facilities.

"Let me be clear, the buck stops with the French government. They have effectively abandoned any attempt to maintain security at the port of Calais.

"When is the British government going to stand up to ensure that we can all get to mainland Europe safely and securely?"

Speaking after fresh trouble erupted at Calais yesterday, the transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: "We're looking at the situation and working with the French government."

Reader Comments:

Views expressed in submitted comments are that of the author, and not necessarily shared by Railnews.

  • Neil Palmer, Waterloo

    The French not willing to stand up to bullies at the port and clamp down and arrest them for their criminal actions? I'm shocked !

  • James palma, londo

    Er. This situation was not caused by Eurostar or by the British government or competition people, this situation was caused by rioters and people behaving selfishly using the excuse of the withdrawl of ferries and union action and the seeming lack of forcible legal action by the french government. There are also doubtless other CONTRIBUTORY factors but the whole scenario is caused by some of those striking, irrespective of whether anyone agrees or not.

    [The root cause of the ferry sale was a competition decision -- Eurotunnel is obliged to sell them. Whether the recent reaction to that in Calais is justified is, of course, another matter.--Editor.]