UK warns arrivals from Europe to ‘expect delays’ due to border force strike

The UK government has warned that people arriving into the country from Europe over Christmas should expect delays and disruption as border guards go on strike from Friday.

UK warns arrivals from Europe to 'expect delays' due to border force strike
Photo by Ben FATHERS / AFP

The UK Border Force begins a strike on Friday, December 23rd, that is expected to cause major delays and disruption at airports and some ports.

Travellers were warned in a statement: “While the government is taking action to minimise disruption, travellers due to arrive in the UK over the Christmas period are warned to expect delays and disruption over the strike action affecting border control.

“Passengers should be prepared for longer wait times and should check with their travel agents, tour operators and airlines/carriers about possible disruptions to their journey prior to travelling.

“Our eGates will continue to function as per normal and we encourage all those eligible to use them to do so, as the quickest and most efficient way to pass through border control.”

The Public and Commercial Services Union, which represents the majority of border staff at airports, has called a strike between December 23rd and 31st, not including December 27th.

READ ALSO Do UK border strikes affect ferries, trains and the Channel Tunnel?

It is part of a wave of strikes hitting the UK as workers including nurses, paramedics, postal staff and rail workers strike for pay rises to help them cope with the soaring cost of living.

The disruption is expected to be concentrated at airports, although the ferry port of Newhaven is also affected, and is likely to lead to extremely long queues at passport control – some are predicting waits of up to 10 hours.

Affected sites are; Birmingham Airport, Cardiff Airport, Gatwick Airport, Glasgow Airport, Heathrow Airport – Terminals 2,3,4,5, Manchester Airport and Port of Newhaven.

It could also cause some flight cancellations and delays if passengers are not able to disembark at UK airports – travellers are advised to check with their airline before going to the airport.

The UK government has drafted in some members of the military to help run passport control, but this is likely to be a very limited service. 

Those travelling to the UK should also be aware of significant disruption on the railways, also due to strike action. 

You can find full details of travel between France and the UK HERE, or head to Local sites in Germany, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, Austria and Denmark for the latest on travel.

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Public transport use in Germany goes up ‘thanks to €49 ticket’

The introduction of the Deutschlandticket contributed to an increase in passenger numbers on buses and trains in the first half of the year, according to Germany’s Statistical Office on Thursday.

Public transport use in Germany goes up 'thanks to €49 ticket'

Almost 5.3 billion passengers travelled on public transport in the first half of 2023, an increase of 10 percent from the same period last year. However, that was still 13 percent less than the first six months of 2019.

The Statistical Office attributed the increase to the Deutschlandticket, which was introduced on May 1st, and allows travellers to use all regional and local public transport all around Germany for €49 a month. 

READ ALSO: Demand for Germany’s €49 ticket crashes Deutsche Bahn website

So far in the second quarter of the year, the number of passengers has only increased by four percent, according to the Statistical Office.

But that’s due to the fact that the €9 ticket – which offered all the benefits of the €49 – led to a particularly strong increase in passenger numbers in June to August 2022, when it was offered.

Passenger numbers on scheduled long-distance services, which had fallen the most during the Corona crisis, grew particularly strongly in the first half of 2023. Long-distance trains recorded 72 million passengers, 16 percent more than in the same period last year.

Long-distance bus services were used by 4.8 million people – 89 percent more than last year. In local public transport, which accounts for 99 percent of scheduled transport, passenger volume increased by 10 percent.


public transport – (der) öffentliche Verkehr 

long distance – (die) Fernstrecke

traveller (on public transport) – (der) Fahrgast

introduced – eingeführt

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