Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Channel Ferries Overwhelmed, Snow, Chunnel Bugs Force RORO Traffic, Car Transport

Here’s some good news for car ferries across the English Channel; the Chunnel car carrier Eurotunnel has more cars than it can handle. A number of trains broke down when the cold of a harsh snowstorm created too much condensation when the outside cold air hooked up with the warm tunnel air.

Given that the passenger trains have broken down as well, it leaves plane and ferry travel the two remaining options for travelling from the UK to France and the rest of the European mainland, taking things back to the days of yore before the English Channel tunnel was built.

For car transport, the ferry would be the only option, where everyone can sing RORO Row Your Boat. The ferries that carry a lot of truck across the Channel are now being swamped with car passengers, creating a “hell on earth” for ferry companies. The bad weather and clogged roads are making it hard for the ferry crews to get to work. However, trucks backed up on the M20 expressway leading into the port of Dover are staying off to the side to allow passenger traffic through as the trucks wait to get their ride across the Channel.

England and France aren’t designed for a lot of snow, although this is southern England’s second major snowstorm of the season, they hadn’t seen one of that magnitude since 1991. We’re seeing a change in climate, but maybe not the climate change that global warming mavens are expecting, and there may need to be some adaptations in some quarters.