Operation Stack costs UK economy £250m every day
The chief executive of the Port of Dover has said the disruption caused by French strikers is costing the UK £250m every day.
The port’s chief exec, Tim Waggott, made the comment following a visit by the ports and shipping minister, Robert Goodwill MP.
The strikes have caused region-wide chaos, with Kent’s gridlocked for four days since the implementation of Operation Stack.
Tim Waggott, chief executive, Port of Dover, said: “Our Chairman George Jenkins and I, together with our major ferry partners, port staff, representatives of the freight industry and of course the Dover and wider Kent community are pleased to welcome the minister to Dover.
“The scale and prolonged period of disruption is bad for us all and it is bad for the UK too. The port handles trade to the value of £100 billion every year and every day that this situation in France continues costs the UK at least £250 million. That is simply unacceptable and incredibly damaging.”
Transport minister, Robert Goodwill MP, said: “The disruption this industrial action is causing to cross-Channel travel is completely unacceptable. Today I have seen the huge effort that is going into dealing with the knock on impact it is having on Dover and across Kent.
“The prime minister has discussed the situation at Calais with the president Hollande and the need to stop the blockade and maintain port security, and the home secretary today met her French counterpart Bernard Cazeneuve. We need to see services return to normal as soon as possible.”
Mr Waggott added: “The Port is acutely aware and highly sympathetic to the impact that this is having on our customers. I cannot praise our staff enough for the incredible dedication and professionalism being shown in challenging conditions.
“Together with our ferry partners who have been equally resilient and proactive in finding ways of keeping some traffic moving to other ports, we are and will continue to do all that we can to minimise the impact of a situation completely out of our control. I can assure everyone that we will do everything possible to allow Europe’s busiest ferry port to do its job for the nation; unimpeded by others.”