P&O warns cross-Channel ferry passengers face strike disruption

P&O ferry P&O said it was currently unclear what kind of action would be held

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Cross-Channel ferry passengers face major travel disruption over Easter due to a strike by French port control officers in a dispute over pay.

P&O Ferries has warned the action, due to start at 07:00 GMT on Thursday and end 24-hours later on Good Friday, is likely to lead to long delays to sailings to most French ports.

Calais, Dunkirk, Dieppe and Cherbourg are all likely to be affected.

P&O said it was currently unclear what kind of action would be held.

Le Havre is expected to be strike-free.

Brittany Ferries said it was not expecting its routes from Portsmouth and Poole to Cherbourg to be affected.

'Political pressure'

But DFDS Seaways has warned of potential disruption and said it was not taking any new bookings for its Dover to Calais and Dover to Dunkirk services during the proposed strike period.

In a statement, P&O Ferries said the company was is in close contact with the French authorities and the British government in an effort to "exert political pressure to resolve the dispute".

"We advise that following failed pay talks yesterday in Paris, French port control officers will be holding a national day of industrial action which is likely to affect the majority of ports in France," the spokeswoman said.

"It is as yet unclear as to the kind of action that will be held which may vary from a 'go slow' to a temporary or total suspension of services for a 24-hour period."

Operation Stack

The spokeswoman advised customers of the possibility of long delays between Thursday and Saturday mornings due to a knock-on effect.

She said passengers were being given the option of sailing before the planned industrial action begins or delaying their departures until Saturday.

The spokeswoman advised freight customers to try and arrive at ports as early as possible.

Kent Police said they may have to implement Operation Stack on Thursday because of the planned industrial action.

Operation Stack reserves part of the coast-bound motorway for lorries to park before crossing the Channel.

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