Operation Crossing the Strait

Police take an overview of the roads to and from ferry terminals Credit: La Moncloa

EVERY year, workers, generally Moroccan, mainly from Spain, France, Germany and Italy make their annual summer pilgrimage to their homeland, their vehicles often laden down with large amounts of products.

It’s a long and tiring journey as they head for the ports of Algeciras and Tarifa in Southern Spain and the largest volume of travellers are on the road between June 15 and August 15 with the exodus named Operation Crossing the Strait.

According to reports by the Spanish Ministry of the Interior, this year some 390,736 vehicles (11.7 per cent more than in 2022) and 1,585,693 passengers (10.8 per cent more) crossed the Straits of Gibraltar.

Due to the fact that Eid (Day of Sacrifice in the Muslim religion) fell on June 28 the largest volume of movement took place towards the end of June although the last weekend of July was also very busy and happily generally passed without any serious road accidents.

73.5 per cent of all of those crossing the Straits were heading towards Morocco (an increase over last year’s figure) with the balance aiming for Ceuta and Melilla (both seeing a decrease on last year’s figure).

Busiest Spanish port was Algeciras, with 901,528 passengers (3.6 per cent up on 2022) a long way above departures from any other Spanish port.

What goes one way, invariably heads back soon after, so they are now in the reverse phase which will be monitored closely until September 15, by which the bulk of travel from Morocco to the rest of Europe via Spain will be completed.

Records show that so far, 519,653 passengers have either returned or arrived for the first time and there is little doubt that well over one million are still due to return before the overview closes.

Those living on the routes between Cadiz Province and France will no doubt be pleased to see fewer vehicles on the roads but will recognise how tiring this type of travel must be for those making the journeys.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article. Do remember to come back and check The Euro Weekly News website for all your up-to-date local and international news stories and remember, you can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Written by

John Smith

Married to Ophelia in Gibraltar in 1978, John has spent much of his life travelling on security print and minting business and visited every continent except Antarctica. Having retired several years ago, the couple moved to their house in Estepona and John became a regular news writer for the EWN Media Group taking particular interest in Finance, Gibraltar and Costa del Sol Social Scene. Currently he is acting as Editorial Consultant for the paper helping to shape its future development. Share your story with us by emailing newsdesk@euroweeklynews.com, by calling +34 951 38 61 61 or by messaging our Facebook page www.facebook.com/EuroWeeklyNews