Cross-Channel services resume following chaos in Calais

Transport services resume following striking ferry workers causing closure of northern French port

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Cross-Channel transport services between Britain and France resumed on Wednesday after being disrupted by a chaotic strike led by French port workers.

On Tuesday hundreds of passengers stranded in both Britain and France as ferry services to and from Dover in south east England, were affected due to MyFerryLink workers going on a strike in Calais.

According to the Independent, at least 600 MyFerryLink workers are at risk of losing their jobs following a decision by Eurotunnel to formally end its partnership with the company.

However, the strike turned upside down as striking workers forced the closure of Eurostar and the French port with a wall of flaming tyres.

Following the violence intensifying in Calais, Eurostar tweeted on Tuesday that a fire caused by workers on strike had damaged tracks, which has resulted in all scheduled train trips to be cancelled.

The strike led to another chaos resulting in a traffic jam in Calais which paved the path for hundreds of migrants trying to sneak into UK-bound trucks queued on the motorway.

Calais has attracted migrants who have escaped from wars as well as poverty and there is an estimate of around 3,000 refugees from Somalia, Eritrea as well as Syria living in camps in near the northern French port.

A recent video recorded by tourists in Calais showing migrants trying to climb into a UK-bound trucks in order to cross into Britain went viral and gained more than 500,000 views on YouTube.

Currently the French police have increased patrols in and around Calais to prevent migrants from climbing aboard trucks and making the illegal crossing into the United Kingdom.

A Sudanese man who spoke to BBC said that he heard Britain would offer a better life style and will not allow migrants to sleep in a camp similar to the one he lives in Calais.

“They will receive you with food… house, then after that you will get a chance to ask for asylum,” said the Sudanese man.

Earlier this week tensions between British and French authorities have escalated as the mayor of Calais Natacha Bouchart criticised and threatened to block Calais’ borders if Britain does not provide further financial aid to help tackle the problem.

Following Bouchart’s comments, on Wednesday English Prime Minister David Cameron said Britain already invested $19 million on boosting border control and was happy to do more if needed.

He also said there was no point of either country “trying to point the finger of blame at each other.”

TRTWorld and agencies