Travel disruption as Stena Line moves ships to fill P&O Ferries gaps | Transport

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Travel disruption continues for lorry drivers and holidaymakers on the Easter getaway, after ferry company Stena Line was forced to suspend all crossings between Fishguard in South Wales and Rosslare in Ireland to fill the gaps left by the continued suspension of P&O Ferries services.

Stena has canceled all sailings between the Pembrokeshire port and the Republic of Ireland until April 12.

The company has moved the ship that used to serve this route to Northern Ireland after customers raised concerns about the supply of essential goods to the region, following the P&O Ferries crisis.

Two of P&O’s ships – the European Highlander and the European Causeway – have not sailed between Larne in Northern Ireland and Cairnryan in Scotland since the ferry operator laid off 800 of its workers without warning last month.

The company, which is owned by the Swedish Olsson family, said the suspension of P&O Ferries crossings came at a difficult time of year when other ferries are out of service for their annual refit.

Stena Line has advised customers who need to sail from Fishguard to Rosslare to travel from the port of Pembroke in South Wales instead, as Irish Ferries will accept Stena Line tickets on their ships.

The cancellations came as a result of what Stena Line described as “music ships”.

It moved the Stena Nordica – which usually sails between Holyhead and Dublin – to Northern Ireland, to help provide extra capacity for freight traffic from Britain.

As a result, the Stena Europe, which usually serves Fishguard and Rosslare, has been moved to the busier Holyhead-Dublin route, leaving a gap in the timetable.

Simon Palmer of Stena Line said: “Unfortunately we have had to temporarily move the Stena Europe from Fishguard to Holyhead following the P&O crisis as we have had to add an additional vessel for this route to Belfast to ensure delivery. continues to provide essential supplies to the region.”

Holidaymakers and HGV drivers faced days of delays and disruption as bad weather and the continued suspension of P&O Ferries caused long queues of cross-Channel traffic at Dover over the weekend. end.

Those hoping to avoid port chaos by crossing the Channel by train were foiled on Monday, when a Eurotunnel Le Shuttle train broke down inside the Channel Tunnel.

The outage came as Eurotunnel said it was experiencing more traffic than it had since 2019, at the start of the first school holidays since the UK lifted Covid travel restrictions.

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Airline passengers have also faced Easter holiday disruptions as staff shortages linked to soaring coronavirus cases led to widespread flight cancellations.

More than 1,000 UK flights have been canceled in recent days by airlines including easyJet and British Airways due to high levels of crew illness.

The lifting of Covid travel restrictions has caused a surge in demand for overseas travel, but it comes at a time when Covid-related absences are exacerbating existing staff shortages, after many aviation workers were laid off during the pandemic.

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