Brittany Ferries services halted 'until further notice'

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Media captionThe company is trying to reduce costs following three years of losses

Crossings with Brittany Ferries have been "cancelled until further notice" following two days of wildcat strikes.

Ferries from Portsmouth and Plymouth to France and Spain have been suspended indefinitely.

Sailings are suspended because of industrial action by some French crew members unhappy with working terms and conditions.

The company is trying to reduce costs following three years of losses. Passengers are being diverted to Dover.

Talks are continuing in the French port of Roscoff between unions and Brittany Ferries in a bid to end the dispute.

Brittany Ferries communications director Stephen Tuckwell apologised to passengers caught up in the last-minute disruption.

He said: "All sailings are cancelled until further notice because we cannot tolerate any short notice strikes by the crew which result in intolerable inconvenience for our passengers.

"Talks are ongoing and we hope to resolve the dispute early next week."

Maria Williams, from Farnborough, turned up at Portsmouth on Friday morning unaware her sailing to Caen had been cancelled.

She said: "I'm not very happy, really, especially as we set off at 4am to get here.

"They could've rung us before we left to save us a journey."

'Particularly frustrating'

Barbara Robinson was trying to get back to her home in France from Plymouth with her husband, Brian.

She told BBC Radio Devon she was "disappointed" with the industrial action.

She said: "We're tired. You're expecting to get on the ferry and it all goes smoothly, but we're still here and we don't know for how long."

Mr Tuckwell said: "This is a wildcat strike which has given us very little time to contact people in advance about the disruption.

"It's particularly frustrating as an agreement was reached last week in Roscoff following a previous wildcat strike and we thought that was the end of it.

"The dispute centres on allowances that were given to staff in the good times, but now that we're facing a third year of losses, we need to safeguard the business and the interests of our crew."

Mr Tuckwell advised passengers due to travel with Brittany Ferries in the next few days to travel to Dover where special arrangements are in place.

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