Rail and Air Strikes Hit Travel in Normandy

intercites-180x150Travelling in Normandy by train and air is proving difficult this week with disruptions today (Wednesday 12 June) and into the weekend due to strikes by rail workers and air traffic controllers.

The strikes are affecting the whole of France. Trains and flights are being delayed and cancelled and passengers are being advised to check before setting out for airports and stations.

Although the strikes will be over by Thursday evening there could still be some disruption to services on Friday and even Saturday due to trains and airplanes being in the wrong place.

The SNCF strike is expected to affect services across Normandy including the Granville to Paris route, Rouen to Caen, Caen to Saint Lo, Coutances, Granville and Rennes, and routes to and from Cherbourg, Lisieux, Alencon, Deauville and Le Mans until 8am on Friday morning.

SNCF employees are on strike over changes to the debt laden state owned rail network which could see it broken up into three entities which might mean job losses. It is expected that inter city services could see three trains out of 10 not running and others could experience delays.

Industrial action by air traffic controllers means that thousands of flights in France have been cancelled. Airport used by people in Normandy including Caen, Deauville, Dinard, Rennes and Nantes are affected by the three day strike in protest against European Union plans to create a single European airspace.

The controllers say the Single European Sky (SES) project which will see many national air traffic control systems merged into nine Functional Airspace Blocks (FABs) with a new European network manager being given authority for route planning will affect public safety and their working conditions.

France’s main controllers’ union, the USAC-CGT, says the plans are ‘a direct attack on the public service nature of this sector’ and a step toward privatisation and amounts to a ‘violation of national sovereignty’ as well as having a negative impact on working conditions.

Passengers are being advised to check with airports and airlines to find out the latest information. Airports are publishing details on their websites which are being updated regularly and in Facebook.

At Rennes flights to and from Toulouse, Nice and Lyon are affected. At Nantes a spokesman said that around a quarter of flights could be affected. At Dinard flights to and from London have been cancelled and passengers are being advised to contact their airline for further information.

At Caen flights to and from Paris and Lyon have been affected. ‘We are making arrangements to transfer passengers onto other flights where possible. Disruptions could last until the weekend,’ a spokesman said.

About Ray Clancy

Ray Clancy has 20 years experience in journalism including contributing articles to print and on-line publications such as PropertyWire.com, Property World Middle East and websites for estate agents. She has also written for the Daily Telegraph and Mail on Sunday.

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