Cross-Channel transport between Calais and Dover is returning to normal after French ferry workers ended their industrial action, which had given illegal migrants in Calais an opportunity to board queuing lorries in the French port.
Striking workers had blocked roads and damaged a train line by starting fires, and the resultant queues turned into travel chaos as migrants attempted to cross into the UK by hiding away in lorries.
British tourists in Calais were warned to lock the doors of their cars amid the chaos as a precaution.
Earlier today, additional French police were deployed to Calais to bring the situation under control.
UK immigration minister James Brokenshire said British authorities were increasing security at Dover and Calais in response to the situation, but maintained that the chaos in Calais was the “responsibility of the French authorities”.
Eurotunnel, which manages the Channel Tunnel, says services are now “operating to schedule”, and claimed that every lorry entering the UK through the tunnel is being searched for illegal migrants.
Train operator Eurostar says that the issue with the fire-damaged train line has now been rectified, and services are running on time. Passengers affected by Tuesday’s cancellations have been asked to exchange their tickets.
Ferry services have also resumed, but delays remain on the service.
There are believed to be around 3,000 illegal migrants living in “ten cities” around Calais, hoping to find the opportunity to board a lorry and enter the UK.
Both the mayor and deputy mayor of Calais have complained in recent days that Britain should do more to alleviate the situation in Calais, claiming that the cost should fall on British shoulders to protect its own borders. However, British ministers contend that French authorities have allowed the situation in Calais to deteriorate in the hope that migrants will cross to the UK and no longer be a French ‘problem’.