THERE are strikes taking place across France today to protest the proposed changes to the country’s pension system.
While the strikes will mainly affect local transport, the Eurostar has also been forced to cancel a number of services to France, Belgium and the Netherlands.
At the moment, 89 Eurostar services to Paris, Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Brussels have already been cancelled between December 5 and 10 – some to take into account the knock on effects of the strike.
Twenty services have been cancelled today alone, while 29 are cancelled tomorrow.
Over the weekend, 11 services are cancelled on Saturday, and 17 on Sunday.
Next week, six trains have been cancelled on both Monday and Tuesday.
As there will also be disruption to Metro and RER services within Paris, you should check that you’re still able to make any connecting trains.
For Metro and RER services in Paris, you can check their website here.
And for local trains, you can check the SNCF website here.
Can you get a refund or exchange your tickets?
Those who are affected by the cancellations are able to exchange their tickets for another day or get a full refund.
Eurostar said: “As the situation is now clearer, exchanges during the strike period are possible, although availability is very limited. We do still advise that you travel outside of the strike period.
“Should you choose to travel between the 5 December and 10 December, we would ask you to check the likely impact for your journey, including any onward connection, before making your exchange.”
And for those who are not affected by cancellations, you’ll be able to postpone your journey for free.
Travel advice from the FCO
Brits heading to France next week should therefore check before they travel to make sure services are still running.
FCO’s updated advice
The FCO said: “Significant industrial action is expected across France from Thursday 5 December for an unspecified duration.
“This will primarily affect transport and public services, with cancellations and severe delays to train, metro, bus and tram services expected from the evening of Wednesday 4 December.
“Disruption and cancellations to Eurostar services between London St. Pancras and Gare du Nord are expected.
“Other international rail services such as those to the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy and Germany may also be affected.
“Industrial action at ports may cause delays and cancellations to some cross-Channel ferry services. You should check the website of your chosen operator before you set off.
“In the event of any disruption, information about alternative routes and operators is available via this interactive map.
“Industrial action by hauliers on some major roads may also cause delays or blockages.
“Strike action by Air France workers and air traffic controllers may also cause disruption to air travel. You should check services before travelling.”
It added: “Wider demonstrations are also planned across France, including a large authorised demonstration in central Paris on Thursday 5 December, leaving from the Gare du Nord at 2:00pm and finishing at Nation.
“Additional protests may also be held linked to the yellow vest (gilets jaunes) movement. In all cases, you should avoid demonstrations wherever possible and follow the advice of the local authorities.”
Last year, it was revealed that French air traffic controllers were responsible for a third of flight delays in Europe.
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