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Ferry to France

(12 Posts)
hemel07 Sun 24-Jul-16 09:16:38

I don't know if this is a stupid question, but why is the security at Dover causing so much chaos, but nothing has been said about the other ports? Why is Dover to Calais more of a security risk than Plymouth to Roscoff for example?

Calaisienne Sun 24-Jul-16 16:24:57

It isn't. However the checks for entering France are done in Roscoff on that particular route, the checks by the Police Au Frontiers (PAF) for entering France are done in Dover, UK for the Dover/Calais route (see wikipedia for "juxtaposed controls). France has extended its "State of Emergency" for another 3 months following the Nice attacks, this combined with the fact that loads of people travel the 1st weekend of the school holidays and then wonder why there are huge queues everywhere.

The situation will be exactly the same in Calais when these hordes try to all travel back at the same time in a fortnight. The French & UK border guards don't have masses of staff sitting around all year just so they can staff the border fully two or three weeks a year.

hemel07 Sun 24-Jul-16 21:22:23

Ahhh, thankyou. Will it be the same at the ports in France then? We are indeed going Plymouth to Roscoff in a few weeks! No bad thing that security is tight, but would rather be prepared.

Calaisienne Sun 24-Jul-16 21:55:46

It is worth giving Brittany Ferries a ring but as they only run a couple of ferries a day on that route, and I think there are the intermittent ferries to and from Ireland, there simply isn't enough traffic through the port to make the queues we have seen at Dover which has 50 departures a day to France.

OhYouBadBadKitten Sun 24-Jul-16 21:59:57

France seem to have also massively understaffed the border at Dover with reportedly only one member of staff searching all the coaches on Friday evening.

scaryteacher Mon 25-Jul-16 11:00:27

It's Hollande wanting to be seen to be doing something.....the risk to France is from within Schengen, not from the UK.

jenpetronus Mon 25-Jul-16 15:04:35

It was a combination of the stricter controls by French authorities in Dover (rightly so imho) the huge volume of traffic on Friday due to schools breaking up, there was also a tractor-trailer carrying hay with caught alight nearby and caused delays. There have been no reported delays at any other ports, though security in France is stricter than it has been (number of times there has been no security at all, no passport check or anything on entering France it's no bad thing!)

scaryteacher Mon 25-Jul-16 15:43:36

jen What security in France? I travelled to Dunkirk from Brussels the day of the Brussels bombings - absolutely nothing at the border either going out or coming back.

Dh came back from a quick trip to UK on Thursday, booked on the 1800 Dover Dunkirk ferry. Waved through French passport control, they didn't even look at his passport, and DFDS stuck him on the 1822 boat to Calais, due to hold ups.

The problem is not coming from the UK; the problem is in the
Schengen area, if not in France already. There are no checks into France from elsewhere, and given the problems they have with people traffickers on the E40 from Belgium to France, one would think something might be reinstated there, or elsewhere to stop the importation of weapons from the Balkans.

chantico Mon 25-Jul-16 15:56:50

"There are no checks into France from elsewhere"

Which is possible why they (and I hope all Schengen members) are stepping up checks on arrivals from all non-Schengen destinations. The zone is only as secure as its weakest border.

But the challenges to open borders within Schengen are increasing.with security imperatives outweighing EU idealism, I suspect this might be an area where we see major change of policy.

jenpetronus Mon 25-Jul-16 16:16:02

But the ironic thing is the recent problems (Nice, Charlie Hebdo, the Paris attacks) were all comitted by French nationals or were living here. sad

scary that's quite incredible under the circumstances. I haven't visited the UK since April, so my knowledge is 2nd hand from gite guests who have said there was more security than they've been used to previously at St Malo and Caen.

hemel07 Tue 26-Jul-16 08:59:15

The whole world has gone bonkers. Fingers crossed for a peaceful and happy holiday for all x

scaryteacher Tue 26-Jul-16 10:12:42

Chantico The non Schengen border for France is the UK. That is not the weak point fgs. Charlie Hebdo, Bataclan and Nice would not have been stopped by border checks at Dover. The authorities might have caught those involved in Bataclan earlier had they had check points on the French/ Belgian borders, which are non Schengen.

The really weak points are obviously the Greek and Italian coastlines where the migrants come in, and which is why Merkel was so stupid. We don't know who is coming in there and slowing down traffic at Dover isn't going to change that.

Jen I had the quickest journey ever on the day of the Brussels bombings. 2 hours from my front door to checking in at Dunkirk. I thought it would be chaos as I live a couple of junctions from Brussels airport, but the motorway was clear all the way through. I did get pulled over in Dover and asked what my purpose was in visiting the UK, but a premier inn booking and the uni pick up reason was fine. We are back and forth regularly, and in 10 years I have never seen anything like the pictures from Dover. It was slow coming back on 11th June when the Euros were on, as all the passports were being checked, and there were police inside the port, but that was expected. Post Bataclan and Brussels, the security and checks at Dover didn't change.

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