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Last Updated: Friday, 11 March, 2005, 09:44 GMT
Ferries resume following strike
The Port of Dover
No ferries had left the port of Dover since Wednesday afternoon
P&O and SeaFrance ferries are sailing between Dover and Calais again after the end of a national French union strike that disrupted services.

No P&O or SeaFrance vessels had left the Kent port since Wednesday afternoon because of the 24-hour strike.

The first ferries departed on Thursday evening as the industrial action came to an end.

The action has seen a backlog of lorries parked on the M20 as Operation Stack was implemented by Kent Police.

Berth damaged

The operation uses the coastbound carriageway of the motorway between junctions 11 and 12 for lorries to park while they wait to cross the Channel.

It was put in place overnight between Wednesday and Thursday and again during Thursday afternoon and evening.

Kent Police called in officers from Surrey and Essex to cope with traffic problems caused by Operation Stack.

P&O spokesperson Brian Rees said he hoped there would be no significant traffic backlog after the strike ends, because some of the waiting freight was sent over to Zeebrugge.

Operation Stack on the M20
Operation Stack has been brought in several times so far this year

All the main French trade unions were taking part in a 24-hour strike to protest against government economic reforms.

The Freight Transport Association said the action would cost freight companies about 1m.

Cross-Channel travellers have been hit by other disruption recently after a berth at Calais was damaged.

Further delays are now expected on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of next week when one of Calais' large berths is closed for repairs, leaving only one working berth for all large cross-Channel ferries.


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