Last updated: 09:07 PM ET, Sun August 30 2015

Port of Calais Reopens After Blockade by Former Ferry Workers

Impacting Travel | Michael Isenbek | August 30, 2015

Port of Calais Reopens After Blockade by Former Ferry Workers

Photo via Twitter/JamesGritt

Travelers attempting to cross the English Channel via the Port of Calais experienced significant delays as a blockade created by former workers of the defunct MyFerryLink company halted ferry service, the BBC reported.

This isn’t the first protest by the group. According to the BBC, since the ferry company’s dissolution July 1 by decree of the U.K.’s Competition Appeal Tribunal, there has been outrage in the ranks. Last month, it was a line of flaming tires, this time, two lifeboats blocked the port.

P&O Ferries, one of two ferry companies operating the Calais-to-Dover service, asserted that negotiations were in progress "to resolve the situation as soon as possible," the BBC said.

As travelers and ferries sat and waited and time passed, the blockade ended around midnight local time. Soon after, P&O tweeted, “The Port of Calais is now open again - our services are subject to delays.”

DFDS Seaways, the other ferry company, was offering service via Dunkirk during the strike, but also tweeted around the same time as P&O, “Calais port has now reopened, normal service has resumed. All services are operating to the advertised scheduled with space available.”

Speaking to the BBC while the blockade was still in place, Nicholas Bernier, a passenger on a France-bound ferry said he was stuck about two miles from Calais.

"I'm roughly about two miles from the Port of Calais. We've got about three ferries standing still in front of us and what we were told is that the port is blocked by two lifeboats," Bernier said.

Richard Hill, a ferry passenger in Calais, told the BBC "Authorities are saying to the captain that they cannot sail past the lifeboats. We are stuck on the ferry along with 2,000 others…”

In a tweet, Natacha Bouchart, Mayor of Calais, expressed “regret” that the port was being “taken hostage” and asked for firm reaction to the incident. 

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