Page last updated at 15:06 GMT, Wednesday, 15 April 2009 16:06 UK

French blockades: Your stories

Fishing fleets have set up blockades at the ports of Calais, Boulogne and Dunkirk. The dispute is over fishing quotas. Ferry operator P&O has cancelled all Dover to Calais crossings.

The blockades have caused chaos for travellers enjoying the Easter break and businesses have been hit hard. BBC News website readers have been telling us how the blockade has affected them.

Peter Fisher
I was on one of the first ferries caught up in the blockade. I was on my way to Ypres in Belgium. I caught the ferry from Dover Tuesday afternoon. As the boat approached Dunkirk, the Captain announced that we would have to head back to Dover. He turned the ferry round and off we went.

I got back to Dover, a few hours later, right back where I'd started! I managed to book myself a ticket on the Eurotunnel and got to Calais. It was a busy journey but I made it.

Benjamin Ellison
Benjamin Ellison who was killed at the Battle of Ypres in 1917
My journey to Ypres is for personal reasons. I'm researching the death of my grandmother's brother, Benjamin Ellison. He was killed in World War I on 31 July 1917. He was never given a grave because his body was never found. I went to see his name which is written on the Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing.

I'm going to the Passchendaele Museum because researchers there have been looking through records and diaries of the time. They've told me that they're confident that they've found the spot where my great uncle fell.

This is a very important trip for me and I'm obviously pleased I'm here despite the blockade.



I work at the Silverstone Technology Centre. I made it back from Calais last night but my Formula Three cars didn't. I have two of them stuck on a truck.

I was in Germany doing some testing on the cars and racing over the Easter weekend. I'm proud to say that the cars and drivers got a podium place. I was feeling happy until I got caught up in the blockades.

The cars are due back for maintenance and testing on Thursday. The cars and drivers are Formula Three, but Silverstone race track is Formula One. The session is a huge opportunity for drivers to get practice and experience on a Formula One circuit. It's a very important day. I have one driver flying in from Brazil and another from China. If the cars don't get back in time then it will be a huge disappointment.

One of the cars stuck at Calais
I was stuck in Calais last night but managed to get a ferry out. I think the ferry sneaked out whilst the French fishermen were having a dinner break. The blockade came down temporarily and we sailed out.

My truck driver though is stuck with my cars and he's cold, hungry and very bored.

I just hope the fishermen have a dinner break again tonight and the cars can get back in time!


Rosalind Collins

I arrived at Dunkirk at just the wrong time. I arrived late evening on Tuesday and checked in. The port then closed because of the blockade. Because my car was in a huge queue, I was stuck. I couldn't reverse and get out so I just sat tight.

I realised quite quickly that I would have to spend the night in the car so tried to make the best of it. I'd come from Belgium so I had plenty of chocolate to see me through and I shared it with the British immigration lads who were working hard to help everyone out.

The queue for the ladies' loo was huge and there was no loo paper

At six o'clock in the morning, I made a trip to the main port building and it was awful. There were rows of Red Cross tents set up where people had spent the night. The queue for the ladies' loo was huge and there was no loo paper. Children were sitting around looking either bored or upset. The air around the port was heavy with fumes because people had left their car engines running to keep warm.

Luckily our British immigration lads helped me out early this morning by guiding me out of the port. They let me use the security inspection lane to get out. I am now back in Bruges. I'm trying to stay positive but I'm worried about my 89 year old mother who I still need to visit in Cornwall.

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