UK ferry services resume as French blockade ends

Daytime Dover-Calais ferry services in were resuming today after protesting French fishermen decided to call off their blockade of the French port.

The blockade, which has also involved the ports of Dunkirk and Boulogne, had been lifted overnight but there had been fears it would be reimposed this morning.

However, at around 7.30am UK time, P&O Ferries said that the fishermen had decided to end the Calais blockade.

A P&O vessel the Pride of Canterbury was due to make the crossing from Calais to Dover, with the Pride of Dover being the first to sail from Dover to Calais.

"We're hoping to have a full service running on the Dover-Calais route as soon as possible," said a P&O Ferries spokeswoman.

The action by the fishermen, who are protesting at EU fishing quotas, led to travel chaos for many thousands of Britons attempting cross-Channel journeys this week.

Ferry companies are now waiting to see if the blockades at Dunkirk and Boulogne will continue.

One of the Calais protesters, Pascal Hamy, 49, said the fishermen were meeting in Dunkirk and Boulogne this morning to discuss whether to resume the blockade.

He said: "There has been some concessions but they're not enough. There has been some movement yesterday evening but they are not enough for us. What we want to do is work.

"We're not guilty of causing the problem (for travellers). The people guilty of that is the French government and Brussels. It's not us.

"We understand people are stuck here and we know that they are frustrated. We're sorry but this action is the only thing the politicians understand."

Last night, P&O Ferries took advantage of a temporary lifting of the Calais blockade to move thousands of passengers who had been stuck earlier in the day.

Ferry company LD Lines said its 7am and 12.30pm sailings from Dover to Boulogne today were cancelled, but a service was planning to leave Dover at 12.30pm for Dieppe.

Norfolkline managed to get a one-way sailing off from Dunkirk yesterday, but was advising that other scheduled services are being cancelled due to the blockade.

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