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France strike leads to major travel disruption on flights ferries and Eurostar

by Sharron Livingston

The general strike in France is disrupting flights, ferries and Eurostar. Public transport is also likely to face delays and disruption. 

Eurostar, which has been running a reduced and revised timetable since early December because of the ongoing industrial action, said ski trains would be disrupted this weekend due to the closure of some railway lines in the Alps region. A spokesman said:

“These unavoidable changes ensure that these trains can still run by avoiding the line closures put in place by SNCF.” 

As some schedules are being revised, some skiers may have to arrange accommodation for an additional night in Bourg St Maurice and onward travel.

Eurostar warned passengers.

“Please be advised that there may be limited accommodation available in Bourg St Maurice, Moutiers or Aime la Plagne.”

It said if the revised timetables are not suitable for passengers they can exchange their ticket for free for an alternative date in the future or request a full refund.

Unions have called for another day of protest today as part of a long-running battle with the French government over pension reform.

Protests are planned for several cities including Paris, where the Eiffel Tower will be closed today. A demonstration starts today at 1.30 pm at Republique and moves through the city to finish at Place Saint-Augustin.

On Thursday, France’s national rail operator SNCF said it expected up to half of the high-speed trains to be cancelled; only one in four inter-city trains would be running. Regional rail services are also be severely affected with half of suburban trains cancelled and only a third of trains circulating in the Paris region.

On the Paris Metro only lines 1 and 14, which are automated, are running as usual. All other Metro lines are running a limited service. 

Ferry services are also being hit with some services being cancelled.

French workers are striking in protest against President Macron’s planned pension reforms.


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