French strikes force extension of Eurostar restrictions

Eurostar is to run a reduced timetable for an additional two days due to disruption caused by national strikes in France.

Many trains across the country were at a standstill yesterday as the action against state pension reforms entered their fourth day.

The high speed Channel Tunnel passenger service warned last week that services would be affected until Tuesday but that has since been extended until Thursday.

MoreFrench general strike triggers travel chaos

Eurostar said: “The strike action will impact our ability to deliver the usual timetable as we expect disruption to signalling along all routes. As a result, we will now run a reduced timetable until 12 December.”

The three main French rail unions have called for industrial action to be stepped up ahead of another general strike and mass protests tomorrow.

“In the coming days, we recommend avoiding public transport,” said the website of the RATP train, tram, bus and metro company on which some ten million passengers in larger Paris area rely daily to get to work.

Trains connecting the suburbs to the centre of Paris will only have a third to half of the normal number of trains running at peak hours Monday, the company said.

Ten out of the RATP’s 16 metro lines will be shut, four will offer limited services, and only the two driverless lines will run as scheduled, but with a “risk of congestion” during peak hours.

All 14 metro lines that rely on drivers were closed on Sunday.

Inter-city rail operator SNCF warned of potentially “dangerous” overcrowding, with availability reduced to about 15%-20%.

An SNCF spokeswoman warned that travel will be “extremely complicated,” urging commuters to make other arrangements. She did not expect any improvement by Tuesday.

Two-thirds to three-quarters of high-speed international trains are due to run as scheduled.

People flying with airlines such as Air France, British Airways and easyJet have faced delays.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office warned that “significant industrial action” was continuing across France into this week.

MoreFrench general strike triggers travel chaos


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