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Ferry sailings from Dover suspended due to French fishermen's industrial action


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Ferry services from Dover to Calais have resumed after French fishermen staged industrial action.

Both P&O and DFDS Seaways suspended their scheduled services to the French port for nine hours, although sailings to Dunkirk were still available through DFDS.

The port of Calais was shut, but reopened at 4.15pm.

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Port of Dover, Eastern Docks side. Stock picture
Port of Dover, Eastern Docks side. Stock picture

Ferries are now sailing again but services are delayed.

It's believed French fishermen blocked entry to Calais, which is France’s busiest passenger port.

It halted all ship movements. The blockade has now lifted.

The fishermen were said to have been protesting against losses they claim were inflicted by some countries’ use of electrified fishing nets.

Earlier, a DFDS Seaways spokesman said the ferry operator was still transporting all passengers and freight out from Dover to Dunkirk instead of the Calais route.

Passengers were advised to head for Dover as planned, while passengers travelling to the UK from France who were due to travel from Calais were being advised to travel to Dunkirk instead.

Janette Bell, CEO of P&O Ferries, said: "It is utterly unacceptable that a small number of individuals have been allowed to bring to a standstill a port which thousands of businesses and tourists rely on every day.

"We call on the French authorities to ensure that the blockade is cleared without further delay, and that Calais opens for business."

She apologised to passengers affected by the delays.

Dover MP Charlie Elphicke said: “This underlines yet again how strikes in France can cause chaos on our roads in Kent.

“President Macron urgently needs to get a grip of the situation and put a stop to the disruption – which is damaging for both the French and British economies.

“This shows why we urgently need more investment at the Dover frontline – and in the roads that lead to the Channel Ports.

"That means dualling the A2 and getting more lorry parking facilities built to stop trucks from clogging up traffic.

“We must invest now to ensure traffic continues to flow freely when we leave the European Union.”

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