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Strikes in France and U.K. – tips for day trippers and visitors to Calais, France – wanting to make the best of their day-trip or visit to France.
Useful links, tips and advice regarding strikes (Grèves) and fuel supplies in France – for day-trippers, channel shoppers and visitors. This information is geared towards the traveller leaving the United Kingdom, but applies to most people.
Top tip. Use twitter for the latest news.
Strikes not only disrupt air travel, ferries and trains, but fuel supplies as well.
Don't take everything for granted – it's better to be prepared by checking travel websites before you go, and avoid ruining your day-trip or short break.
Next U.K. strike – August 2012. EasyJet pilots in France are planning action on 15th, 17th and 19th August.
- May 10th 2012
- The Immigration Services Union (ISU) is planning to join industrial action by public sector workers in protest over Government plans to increase the retirement age of arresting officers beyond 65. The union represents 4,500 immigration staff, including hundreds at Heathrow and other UK ports and airports.
- February 2012
- A strike will take place from 29th February to 1st March. It is organised by the French Trade Unions and will affect many flights and rail services.
- February 2012
- A four day strike is expected by French air traffic control workers from 6th to 9th February. There is a possibility of another air strike on the 29th February.
- November 30th
- Strikes in U.K., UKBA actions will affect travel. We expect an improvement in the serviuce though, with smiles, efficiency, concentration on drugs, illegals etc.
- Advice from DFDS Ferries. "Advice for passengers due to travel on DFDS Seaways Dover-Dunkirk route on 30 November 2011. Chris Newey, Passenger Director, DFDS Seaways English Channel.
- "As advised by the U.K. Border Agency, planned union strikes are due to take place from 00.01 to 23.59 on 30 November 2011. This will affect border controls at Dover and Dunkirk ports. Therefore, we are advising passengers that have tickets booked for, or those planning to travel, on 30 November to allow for extra time to pass through the border controls both in the U.K. and France. Although we have been reassured that disruption will be kept to a minimum, some delays may still occur. "For those passengers who are subject to delays at the border control, and consequently miss their scheduled sailing, we will endeavour to accommodate them on a later crossing wherever possible, at no additional cost. "Wednesday 30 November also sees the introduction of an additional passenger and freight ship on the Dover-Dunkirk route, to ease traffic pressure caused by the interruption of SeaFrance services. This will increase sailings on the Dover-Dunkirk route, providing additional capacity for 1850 passengers, 250 cars and 75 lorries, further helping to eliminate additional pressure on the Channel."
- November 8th
- There may be a SNCF (Rail) strike on.
- Today (29th September 2011)
- I am sitting on a ferry in the English channel because of a short notice strike by Calais port workers. We strongly advise travellers to allow plenty of time to reach their stop over hotels. Remember France is one hour ahead, and delays and strikes can affect your journey considerably. Build an extra two hours into your journey times.
- Next strike
- Nationwide on 11th October 2011
- Unions at Air France have called off a planned four-day strike by flight attendants at the end of July.
- Autumn 2011
- More strikes planned this Autumn. SNCF has a strike planned.
- October 26th 2010
- According to the local paper less than 10% of garages have no fuel, and 3/4's are operating normally. www.lavoixdunord.fr
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Strikes (Grèves) and other disruptions in France
One day strikes are often held in France and can be widespread. Disruption can be caused for travellers before and after the of the day of action.
We suggest you check out the following companies web sites before travelling. If it's all in French look for "les prévisions" (forecast), "grèves" (strikes), "manifestations" (demonstrations).
– use the Google translate function below if needed.
Grèves (strikes). www.greves.org
– From the CGT, the main French Trade Union organising the strikes (French). www.cgt.fr
Map showing strike actions. www.carte.cgt.fr
– Twitter. twitter.com/UKinFrance
www.americansinfrance.net often posts information on strikes.
twitter.com/jeffsteiner / www.jeffsteiner.com
Fuel supplies in France
Site pages change, especially when it involves news, but look for words such as "rupture" and "carburant".
Closed fuel garages. www.carbu.fr/stationsvides_v2.html
Map from Le Parisien newspaper showing fuel supply problems. www.leparisien.fr
– Zagaz. French site about fuel supplies and prices. www.zagaz.com
Forum discussing fuel supplies. forum.automoto.fr/trouver-de-lessence
– in Pas de Calais. forum.automoto.fr
Discussion about fuel supplies. actualites.forum.orange.fr
– AA Travel and Breakdown insurance.
France24 News channel, survival guide. www.france24.com
French Government page for air travel. www.developpement-durable.gouv.fr
European Air traffic Control. www.eurocontrol.int
Strikes Worldwide. www.easytravelreport.com
Easyjet news. support.easyjet.com
Airports – U.K. airports
Gatwick. Twitter / www.gatwickairport.com
London Heathrow (LHR). Twitter / www.heathrowairport.com
Other London airports
Dover port. twitter.com/PortOfDover
www.doverport.co.uk / Latest travel news
U.K. Ports twitter accounts
if you are delayed for whatever reason ring the company you are travelling with and let them know.
If in France; Eurotunnel. Tel: 0321 00 61 00, P and O Ferries. Tel: 0321 46 04 40.
If in U.K.; Eurotunnel. Tel: 01233 617 575, P and O Ferries. Tel: 0321 46 04 40 / 0871 664 464. DFDS 0871 574 7235.
Ferries company twitter accounts
– Eurostar (look under "Travel information" or "Customer Care, Q&A's"). www.eurostar.com
– Eurotunnel. www.eurotunnel.com
– SNCF / TER French Railways. More about SNCF and to book a fare. www.sncf.co.uk
The SNCF realtime arrivals and departures web site. www.infolignes.com
Paris travel information. www.leparisien.fr/transports
Paris and local travel news. www.transilien.com
– French local train services. www.ratp.fr
– Rail Europe information. www.voyages-sncf.comK
Twitter and Facebook are worth looking at for the latest information.
British Consulate in Lille, 11 square Dutilleul. 59800 Lille. Tel: 0033 320 12 82 72.
British Consulates and Embassy in France (French Embassy and Consulates in the United Kingdom)
The British Embassy – 35, rue du Faubourg St Honore. 75383 Paris Cedex 08. Tel: 0033 1 44 51 31 00. ukinfrance.fco.gov.uk
Visa Section – 16, rue d'Anjou. 75008 Paris. Tel: 0033 1 44 51 33 01.
Bordeaux -353, boulevard du President Wilson. 33073 Bordeaux Cedex. Tel: 0033 5 57 22 21 10.
Lyon-24, rue Childebert. 69002 Lyon. Tel: 0033 4 72 77 81 70.
Marseille -24, avenue du Prado. 13006 Marseille. Tel: 0033 4 91 15 72 10.
Foreign and Commonwealth Office. www.gov.uk / Advice for France
– Home Office. www.homeoffice.gov.uk