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P&O Ferries service cancellations between Dover and Calais enter 10th day


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Ferry service cancellations by disgraced operator P&O have entered their 10th day with the company now having lost millions since sacking 800 staff.

Ships have been at anchor in Dover since last Thursday when the company announced it would be relieving crews of their duties and replacing them with cheaper agency workers.

Two of the three moored ferries have moved to the Eastern Docks from the Western Docks in Dover. Picture: Barry Goodwin
Two of the three moored ferries have moved to the Eastern Docks from the Western Docks in Dover. Picture: Barry Goodwin

And as the saga rumbles on for the tenth day, sailings seem no closer to resuming across the Channel on one of the company's busiest routes.

The Dover to Calais route remains suspended today along with the route between Larne in Northern Ireland to Cairnryan in Scotland.

But services have now resumed on the Liverpool to Dublin service and there is limited sailings between Hull and Rotterdam.

P&O said last week cancelling all its services meant the company lost £1 million per day.

With the suspensions now in their second week the firm has lost millions of pounds since sacking the crews.

P&O ferries moored at Dover which have not been sailing for 10 days since the mass sackings. Picture: Barry Goodwin
P&O ferries moored at Dover which have not been sailing for 10 days since the mass sackings. Picture: Barry Goodwin

But passengers booked on to P&O are being offered spaces with alternative carriers DFDS and Irish Ferries departing from and returning to Dover.

In an update this morning, a P&O statement said: "Services today remain cancelled. Please arrive as booked, we will get you away on an alternative carrier as soon as possible.

"Once at the port please head to the DFDS check-in booths. We apologise for the inconvenience this may have on your journey plans."

Whilst the cancelled services continue, traffic restrictions remain in place on the M20 and A20.

Dover TAP has been implemented with the left lane closed to non-freight traffic from the Roundhill Tunnels at Folkestone while Operation Brock between Maidstone and Ashford remains in place.

Protestors returned to Dover yesterday to march in demonstration against the mass sackings.

It was confirmed this week, replacement agency staff from abroad replacing the British seafarers would only be paid £5.15 an hour by P&O Ferries, which is owned by Dubai-based firm DP World.

The company's chief executive Peter Hebblethwaite admitted this week union bosses and staff were not consulted over the plans raising questions about the legality of the move.

Mr Hebbelthwaite is now being urged to quit as he refused to rule out taking his salary bonus when addressing a parliamentary committee earlier this week.

Overnight, a ship operated by P&O Ferries has been detained in the Northern Ireland port of Larne for being “unfit to sail”.

The European Causeway vessel has been held due to “failures on crew familiarisation, vessel documentation and crew training”, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) said.

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