France strikes: 30,000 more passengers hit by second week of travel chaos

Simon Calder
AFP via Getty

Travel to, from and within France will be hit by at least four more days of chaos as a result of the national strike that began last week.

The stoppage in protest against planned pension reforms has already led to the cancellation of hundreds of flights and thousands of trains – including 80 Eurostar services between London and France, Belgium and the Netherlands. More than 50,000 passengers had to change their travel plans.

Eurostar is warning that its services over the next four days, from 9 to 12 December, will be heavily disrupted, affecting around 30,000 more passengers.

On Monday and Tuesday, at least 14 trains between London and Paris have been cancelled, with some services to Brussels, Rotterdam and Amsterdam also axed.

At present eight London-Paris trains have been cancelled on Wednesday, and a further five on Thursday.

Passengers whose trains are cancelled can exchange or refund their tickets within 60 days.

A strike by air-traffic controllers led to hundreds of flights being cancelled between Thursday and Saturday, and another walk-out is being staged from 7pm local time on Monday to 6am on Wednesday.

British Airways has cancelled four French flights – round-trips from Heathrow to Paris and Toulouse – on Monday evening.

The shutdown is still affecting rail and road transport in France.

The Foreign Office is warning of “cancellations and severe delays to train, Metro, bus and tram services”.

The latest FCO travel advice says: “International rail services such as those to the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy and Germany may also be affected.

“Industrial action at ports may cause delays and cancellations to some cross-Channel ferry services.”

The only disruption appears to have been on DFDS due to high winds on the Newhaven-Dieppe crossing and a technical failure that hit some overnight ferries between Dover and Calais.

The Foreign Office also warns: “Industrial action by hauliers on some major roads may also cause delays or blockages.”

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