Channel traffic flows after French blockade

3rd December 2004, Comments 0 comments

LONDON, Dec 3 (AFP) - Hundreds of British ferry passengers were on their way home late Thursday, and long queues of lorries were finally easing, after French fishermen lifted their blockade of the ports of Calais and Dunkirk.

LONDON, Dec 3 (AFP) - Hundreds of British ferry passengers were on their way home late Thursday, and long queues of lorries were finally easing, after French fishermen lifted their blockade of the ports of Calais and Dunkirk.

The blockade, which began around mid-day (1200 GMT), was called in protest against the intervention of inspectors who say that the fishermen have surpassed their permitted catch of sole.

Vessels found themselves unable to enter or leave the two ports, while long queues of cars and trucks built up on both the French and British sides of the English Channel.

The blockade was lifted at 7:15 pm French time (1815 GMT) and sailings resumed shortly afterwards.

"The capacity at Dover is incredible, so the backlog should clear very quickly," a spokesman for P and O Ferries told Britain's domestic Press Association news agency.

In Kent, southeast England, as many as 200 trucks were said to have lined up on the M20 motorway to Dover, waiting for the ferries to sail again. The stoppage was the latest in a series of strikes that have hit cross-Channel services over many months.

"Previous experience suggests that the closure of Calais for a day imposes a cost of around GBP 1 million (EUR 1.45 million, USD 1.92 million) on the transport industry," said Geoff Dossetter of the Freight Transport Association.

© AFP

Subject: French News

0 Comments To This Article