Due to deficiencies, the ferries that shuttle between Calais and Dover have been shut down. P&O has been under criticism for weeks for laying off 800 crew members.
Dover In all probability, the ferry operator P&O will not be able to offer any connections on the vital route from Dover to Calais at Easter either. Experts had found “several deficiencies” on board the “Spirit of Britain” that now have to be remedied, the British sea rescue authority told the BBC on Wednesday. This means that two ferries that typically carry cars and lorries across the English Channel have been shut down.
The ferry operator has been under criticism for weeks. For financial reasons, P&O had laid off all 800 crew members and replaced them with cheaper workers. The British government announced the consequences.
Inspectors are currently checking all eight of the company’s ships for safety and seaworthiness. At least two ferries are released. However, they are usually used on other routes. After a week-long break, P&O wanted to resume the Dover-Calais connection in time for the Easter holidays.
In the south-eastern English county of Kent, there have been kilometer-long truck traffic jams for days, also because of the P&O failures. Other reasons are the Easter holidays, problems with the new IT system for customs controls in the UK’s busiest port, and Brexit. Since January, the British authorities have been controlling imports from the EU much more strictly than before.