10 Days Remaining

Wednesday 22nd
posted by James Tweedie in World

MEMBERS of a cross-Channel ferry co-operative halted Channel tunnel services yesterday in a protest over Eurotunnel’s decision to destroy their business.

Thick, black plumes of smoke billowed over the French port of Calais after workers set fire to a stack of tyres in the latest of a series of protests.

The protesters left after police were called, but the burning blockade caused the closure of the A16, one of the main roads leading to the port, shutting off access to the terminal while the road was repaired.

Eurotunnel had earlier warned of heavy congestion and long delays on the French side, but traffic from Folkestone on the cross-Channel rail service was not thought to be affected.

Some passengers experienced delays, and Eurotunnel offered those who had checked in the chance to travel on any following train with available space.

A Eurotunnel spokesman said: “The protesters have now left of their own free will — it didn’t look as if the police removed them.”

Eurostar said the fire had not had any impact on its train services.

The MyFerryLink workers’ co-operative had been operating services using three ferries leased from Eurotunnel since 2012.

The co-op was salvaged from the wreck of national ferry operator Seafrance, which was liquidated three years ago.

But MyFerryLink had the rug pulled out from under it last month when Eurotunnel announced that it was selling two of the boats to Danish rival DFDS.

A similar protest on June 23 caused delays to both tunnel and ferry services between Calais and Dover.