UK Border Force Strike – New Marco Polo

NEWS: A strike could mean delays at all UK Passport Controls tomorrow. Mercedes’ swish new campervan goes on sale at the end of the month. Finland’s proposed pay-as-you go road tolls should also apply to foreign vehicles say MPs. A border strike in Greece sees long truck queues in Macedonia, plus the Shipka Pass Tunnel should be built by 2020 to complete a direct route between Bucharest and the Aegean.

GIBRALTAR FRONTIER WATCH: maximum 30min delay at lunchtime.

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BORDER FORCE STRIKE

Contingencies in place but expect delays at Passport Control tomorrow.

passport control3

Passengers at all UK ports should be prepared for delays at Border Force controls tomorrow (Thursday 10 July).

The Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) is holding a national day of action, along with several other unions, over a pay claim.

A spokesman for the PCS told @DriveEurope today that the organisation had members at all ports (and airports) and that there could ‘potentially be disruption at all of them’.

The strike is not expected to lead to any cancelled departures. A spokesperson for the Home Office told @DriveEurope, ‘Border Force has tried and tested contingency plans in place for managing industrial action. There will inevitably be some delays but we hope to keep any disruption to the travelling public to a minimum.’

Earlier this week, LDLines warned passengers travelling to and from Portsmouth and Newhaven to, ‘Please arrive at check-in as soon as possible as controls will be covered by trained volunteers and you may have to wait longer than usual to pass through the PCP [passport control].’

The disruption could start as early as this evening and last until Friday morning.

We will monitor the situation and post updates here and at @DriveEurope on Twitter.

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If we were going to have a campervan it would probably be this one: the new Mercedes-Benz Marco Polo. Based on the V-Class, it has electric everything – including bed (two doubles) and roof – teak floor, flush glass-topped kitchen units, matching integral outside table and chairs but no shower, or toilet unfortunately. The most powerful engine is a 2.2 litre turbodiesel, 136g/km 190bhp. Available with the usual raft of Mercedes driver assist and safety features. On sale in Germany from 29 July. Prices TBA.

If we were going to have a campervan it would probably be this one: the new Mercedes-Benz Marco Polo. Based on the V-Class, it has electric everything – including bed (two doubles) and roof – teak floor, flush glass-topped kitchen units, matching integral outside table and chairs but no shower, or toilet unfortunately. The most powerful engine is a 2.2 litre turbodiesel, 136g/km 190bhp. Available with the usual raft of Mercedes driver assist and safety features. On sale in Germany from 29 July. Prices TBA.

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roundup: FINLAND. Parliamentarians are further advancing the possibility of pay-as-you go road tolls which would also apply to foreign vehicles according to YLE. The transport committee proposal follows an independent report earlier this year recommending a GPS-based scheme. There’s no news yet on the transport ministry tender for IT companies to build the app-based infrastructure, also including other driving services. MACEDONIA-GREECE. A 24 hour strike by Greek border guards has led to long truck queues at the Bogorodica, Dorjan and Medzitlia crossing points though cars and buses are being let through. BULGARIA. Design contracts have been inked for the Shipka Tunnel, part of the Grabovo Bypass project in central Bulgaria, underneath the Shipka Pass, site of famous 19th century battles which saw the defeat of the Ottoman Empire. When complete in 2020, the tunnel will complete a fast north-south direct route between Bucharest and Alexandroupoli on the Greek Aegean coast. Meanwhile, restrictions are in place on two bridges in Pleven on the main road to Sofia.

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