Calais strike disrupts cross-Channel travel for third day

Travel was disrupted for the third day yesterday as a strike by French ferry workers continued to cause disruption on both sides of the Channel.

MyFerryLink workers walked out on Monday for the second time in a week over the sale of the company’s ferries to the rival firm DFDS Seaways.

The strikes closed the Port of Calais and left thousands of trucks bound for Dover stuck on the M20 in Kent.

The industrial action is expected to continue today.

The M20 remains closed in both directions between Leeds Castle and Ashford as part of Operation Stack.

Food and water were distributed to queuing lorry drivers and portable toilets have been put in place.

Non-freight traffic travelling to Dover had been urged to use alternative routes.

“We’ve been told by police to expect to be here for 24 hours minimum,”a truck driver, Ellis Evans said.

Another trucker, Alan Overton from Grimsby, told BBC Radio Kent he had been stuck in the queuing traffic since just after 04:00 on Tuesday, with a lorry load of wet fish.

“At the moment we have enough fuel to keep the refrigerated motors going, but there’ll come a point when that runs out and the load is in jeopardy of being scrapped,” he said.

“It’s already smelling… and fish water is dripping out of the trailers,” he said.

Holidaymakers and local residents have also been affected by the traffic disruption in Kent, with villages and minor roads busier than usual as motorists try to avoid the M20.

One visitor who had travelled down from Scotland with his family expressed frustration at the “madness” of Operation Stack.

He said he was waiting at the Port of Dover to board a ferry to Boulogne because P&O were using that port while the blockade at Calais continued.

Copyright Ships & Ports Ltd. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit given to as the source.