A horrifying reminder of last summer as heavy return traffic, border checks and technical trouble at Eurotunnel lead to massive delays, and migrants riot in Calais.
Also, Switzerland’s Munt la Schera Tunnel to open longer and later this winter. France to refund ‘double manning’ fines. Gibraltar to get runway tunnel after all. A third of drivers fined over Hungary vignette are foreign. Classic car drivers win reprieve from Paris old car ban. Chinese largest group in Iceland visitor crash stats. Stena to re-flag after Brexit.
ALL KICKING OFF IN CALAIS AGAIN
Problems at Eurotunnel, plus migrant trouble at Calais.
A combination of technical problems at Eurotunnel, heavy return traffic from Le Mans and now migrant trouble on the Calais port road is making for a miserable day on the French side of the Channel.
Drivers at the tunnel were already waiting up to three hours to clear enhanced border checks this afternoon – as they had yesterday evening – when technical trouble struck.
Contrary to some reports, Eurotunnel tells us there is not a train stuck in tunnel but that, ‘Work is needed in the Tunnel for repairs to catenary [power supply cable], and these works have started, with a single line in operation.’
Eurostar subsequently said the origin of the problem has been located.
The initial issue was fixed by 16:30BST but soon after a train did in fact stop in the tunnel (though it has now been moved and the timetable reformed).
Delays peaked at nine hours in total late into the evening.
James McCann from McCann Transport tells us mid-afternoon, ‘Jungle residents kicking off on slip road into port, smoke bombs, stuff all over the road. Our driver mentioned projectiles being chucked. Port not so bad once clear of the madness, perimeter fence been breached though so some inside.’
Calais port is advising drivers to find an alternative route into the port. Reader Pete Edwards says it is possible to reach the port through the town from the A16, see below.
P&O says it will not charge delayed drivers forced to catch later boats. DFDS says customers can catch a Dover boat from Dunkirk instead.
The port road finally reopened at 18:30BST.
roundup: France is to refund fines for ‘double manning’ rest violations according to Spain’s Transporte3.com. Earlier this year, out of the blue, drivers were fined for not taking 45 minute rest periods in stationary vehicles on two-drive trips. Penalties were as high as €6000… work is to restart on a dual carriageway tunnel under Gibraltar’s airport runway after a long-running legal dispute was resolved between the government and contractor reports Olive Press. Currently vehicles have to wait for planes to land or take off as the runway cuts across the main road into the territory from the Spanish border. The tunnel should open in late 2018… more than half a million drivers were fined a total of €14.5 million last year for failing to buy Hungary’s electronic motorway vignette. A third were foreigners reports Daily News Hungary. The country does have many local agreements in place to pursue fines from drivers’ home countries (see Euro Parking Solutions) – about half were recovered. See more on Hungary road tolls… Classic car drivers won’t be banned from the streets of Paris after all according to Auto Blog. The FFVE Fédération Francaise des Véhicules d’Epoque has negotiated with the city authorities to produce a new ‘Carte Grise de Collection’ sticker for vehicles more than 30 years old. Otherwise all vehicles registered before 1997 are banned from the central Paris weekday day times, apparently even foreign ones… Chinese tourists make up the biggest group of visiting drivers injured in Iceland traffic accidents according to Iceland Review. Numbers jumped from an average of two each year 2001-2014 to 27 in 2015. However, of 1324 people injured in accidents last year, 208 were visitors. Road safety for tourists is an increasing issue… Ireland and Harwich-Hook of Holland ferry operator Stena Line would re-flag its ships in the remaining EU in the event of a Brexit vote reports Radio Sweden. The process would likely take a few years but could affect 8000 UK jobs.