TRAVEL woes are expected to continue in the lead-up to the Easter weekend, as strikes in France have forced Condor to cancel further ferry services.
Large parts of France have been brought to a standstill by industrial action and violent protests sparked by President Emmanuel Macron’s controversial pension reforms. Much of the country’s transport system remains paralysed, with major roads blocked and rail, ferry and air services all badly affected.
A spokesperson for Condor Ferries said the firm had ‘no choice but to regrettably cancel tomorrow’s services to and from St Malo’.
They added: ‘In order to accommodate passengers travelling to and from Jersey and Guernsey, we have automatically moved passengers to sailings today and on Friday. Today’s will now be routed via Guernsey to St Malo. Should the above change of timing for Jersey passengers be inconvenient, they can switch to St Malo sailings on Friday. We regret any inconvenience this causes but these are clearly circumstances outside our control.’
French unions, which include those representing port authority staff, have now announced a new wave of strikes for today, tomorrow and Friday. To cause maximum disruption and confusion to those hoping to get away for the Easter weekend, the strikes are scheduled to take place between 11am and 3pm on Wednesday and Friday, while Thursday’s action is for 24 hours.
Earlier this month, Condor issued a notice saying that the company was aware of ongoing strike action which ‘may continue to affect our sailings between the islands and St Malo’.
The UK Foreign Office also urged those travelling to France to ‘monitor the media, check the latest advice with operators before travelling, avoid demonstrations and follow the advice of local authorities’.
An Islander who remains in France has again urged travellers to fill their vehicles up with fuel before boarding the ferry, saying that blockades at petrol depots and refineries in northern France were causing shortages and queues.
Industrial strike action at Heathrow Airport is also affecting air services between Jersey and the UK, causing disruption to some of the estimated 50,000 passengers passing through Jersey Airport between now and Easter Monday.
Any Islanders wishing to transfer, discuss other options or cancel their booking with Condor can visit the company’s website or call 0345 609 1026.