Daily Brief 29 June 2013

Latest update 20:00


Condor Ferries: Condor Rapide on reduced power. Delays of 20-45 mins today and tomorrow.

Brittany Ferries: ‘Due to road works, traffic into and out of Portsmouth is heavier than usual. Please allow extra time for your journey.’

P&O: ‘We regret that the 22.30 Calais-Dover on the 1st July has been cancelled. Please call us on 0845 839 0845 to change to a different sailing.’


Newslines: ‘Ace’ truck driver nabbed Poland – ferry news roundup – protest on E79 near Greece border – man survives Baltic ferry fall


In the absence of any news pictures so far today we're forced to use a Photo of our own. This is lovely Linz in Austria, on the left bank of the Danube, next to Niebelungenbrucke in the city centre. Unmissable because it changes colour. It could be evidence there's too much money here but there's a restaurant on the third floor overlooking the old town across the river.

In the absence of any news pictures so far today we’re forced to use a photo of our own. This is the Lentos Art Museum/Ars Electronica Centre ‘FuturLab’ in Linz, opened 2003, on the left bank of the Danube, next to Niebelungenbrucke in the city centre. Unmissable because it changes colour. It could be evidence there’s too much money around in Austria’s extremely well-heeled third city. On the other hand there’s a spectacular view of the old town across the river from the restaurant on the third floor. Really, Linz is a fantastic mix of everything old and new.



Meteoalarm weather alerts – Amber warning for storms Greece mainland (and now south east FYR Macedonia) and for high winds and seas southern tip of Spain/Gibraltar.

Weather in brief – rain in north west (apart from UK). Heavy rain around Adriatic. Hot in the East, Spain and Portugal.

Crossing the Channel – Repairs to Condor Ferries’ Rapide taking longer than expected. Delays Jersey-St Malo-Guernsey-St Malo today, Jersey-(Guernsey)-St Malo tomorrow. Click for more. DFDS sailings Harwich-Esbjerg resume on 5 July (see notes below).

No other operators reporting any current delays.

From @Port_of_Dover this morning:

Latest @CF_travel_news forecast: ‘The current forecast indicates slight sea conditions for the week[end].’

See our Traffic/Travel/Weather page for the latest.



P&O Calais-Dover – ‘We regret that the 22.30 Calais-Dover on the 1st July has been cancelled. Please call us on 0845 839 0845 to change to a different sailing.’

Brussels – a large demonstration will take place in Brussels on Saturday 29 June 2013. This will lead to traffic congestion in the centre of the city from 2-4 pm, especially around the Central Station.

Bulgaria – continuing anti-govt demonstrations, day sixteen today. The British Embassy says, ‘There is a small risk of violence. Avoid large gatherings in public spaces and follow local media and the advice of the local authorities.’ For the latest FCO travel advice click here. For Bulgarian news in English see www.Novinite.com or @novinite_com on Twitter. We do not wish to be alarmist but a nationalist leader was photographed on Friday with what looked like a holstered gun (since denied) on his way into parliament; also quoted talking about ‘civil war’. The national ombudsman has today called for ‘level-headedness’.

DFDS Harwich-Esbjerg – sailings resume on Friday 5 July from Esbjerg at 18:45 and the day after from Harwich at 17:45. The DFDS service is the only regular car/passenger sailing between UK-Scandinavia. Limited space is sometimes available on DFDS Tor Line boats between Immingham/Tilbury-Gothenburg.

Luxembourg – the A4 south west of the capital will be closed all weekend while the ‘Sandweiler’ roundabout on the A1 east of the city (junction with N1a, and N2) will close overnight on Friday and Saturday. Diversions in place. Click for detail.




E79 south of Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria.

E79 south of Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria.

Bulgaria – a similar protest was threatened in the week (see Daily Brief Tuesday) but an entirely different group this time briefly blocked the main E79 road to the Greece border this afternoon. A group of farmers from the Blagoevgrad region dumped produce, and symbolically blocked the roadway for 10 minutes this afternoon in a protest over agricultural prices. As the main thoroughfare through south west Bulgaria, E79 is vulnerable to such protests and they have happened several times this year, as I other places in the country, though all have been over within a few hours.


Poland – a Lithuanian truck driver who overtook approaching the brow of a hill, crossing a solid white line in the process, claimed as an experienced, professional ‘ace’ he was allowed to do so – though he admitted to New Poland Express that, ‘It’s not for those who passed their driving test today.’ He was fined 2,500PLN (£500) and banned for six months after the incident was caught on camera. Road safety is increasingly high on the agenda in Poland. The Economist said this week it had ‘some of the most dangerous roads in Europe’ a view endorsed by EU Transport Commissioner Siim Kallas.


Ferry news roundup – DFDS are offering ‘night owl’ specials on its Dover-Calais/Dunkirk routes. Book before 31 July for travel before 15 September and sailings between 01:00-06:00 inclusive can be had for as little as £19 each way for car+4. Click for more… The Guardian is working up righteous fury over mobile phone roaming charges on-board ferries using Stena Line as an example. Apparently passengers are not aware that making or receiving calls in such circumstances will be expensive… the former Condor Ferries’ Vitesse captain and first mate facing manslaughter charges after a collision with a fishing boat in March 2011 will appear in court again on 11 September says the BBC. Condor itself is not being prosecuted… a family seemingly on a two day break in Dunkirk were found, in the early hours of Thursday morning, to have hidden three stowaways in their caravan. All concerned are now in the custody of French Border Police… The chief exec of Thanet Council found herself facing tough questions on Wednesday over the debt accrued since 2009 by the sadly now defunct TransEuropa Ferries… A 36 year old Estonian man has survived seven hours in the Baltic Sea overnight after falling off the Helsinki-Stockholm ferry on Friday evening… And finally, a cat missing from its home in Le Havre was found on-board a P&O ferry to Dover. P&O only sails to Calais in France. Le Havre is 170 miles from Calais. Meanwhile DFDS and Brittany Ferries do sail to Le Havre. The details of the Daily Mail story do check out but it still seems very odd, over and above the fact that a cat managed to board a ferry.


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