Friday 23 February 2018

Delays at Dover port 'could last for weeks' - police

Aine Fox London

Delays for travellers heading towards Dover could last for weeks to come, police in the UK have warned

Holidaymakers faced hours on gridlocked roads this weekend as some spent the night in their cars while they waited in vain to get to the port.

By yesterday afternoon Kent police said the situation had returned to normal, with those on the roads facing a wait of about 30 minutes on the A20 approach to Dover.

UK Border Force officials have been drafted in to work with French border police after the British government admitted motorists had suffered "extraordinary disruption" as the great summer getaway began on Friday.

At one stage there were 12-mile tailbacks, and people endured 15-hour waits.

Police said the disruption was down to a "vast volume of holiday traffic" coupled with delays caused by heightened security at the border in the wake of terror attacks.

Increased checks were put in place by French authorities at the port but questions have been raised about staffing levels to deal with the huge number of people travelling at this time.

After complaints that just one French officer was available to check in coaches on Friday night into Saturday, port authorities said six booths were manned overnight into yesterday.

Police said the "large volume" of holiday traffic coupled with heightened security checks "could however mean some delays over the next few weeks".

They had initially predicted severe disruption could last into today.

Water supplies were dropped along the jam by police helicopter, as motorists rationed their food and drink.

Irish Independent

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