More queues at Dover as passengers told to plan for a minimum 2 hours wait for border checks

Queues are building at the Port of Dover – with drivers being told to allow two hours before departure for border checks in Kent.

Ferry operator DFDS told passengers that there were “queues of around an hour” for French border checks on Monday morning, and to “allow a minimum of 120 minutes before your departure to complete all controls”.

P&O Ferries wrote on Twitter: “The queues have picked up and it is taking approximately one hour to clear passport control.”

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Passengers were forced to wait for several hours on Friday as bumper-to-bumper traffic stretching for miles marred the journeys of tens of thousands of families at the start of the school summer holidays.

Cars queue at the check-in at the Port of Dover in Kent. Authorities have worked "around the clock" to clear both freight and tourist traffic in Dover, the port said. Some 72,000 passengers - more than 200 miles of tourist and freight traffic combined - had been processed by Sunday morning. Picture date: Sunday July 24, 2022.
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Extra post-Brexit border checks and French authorities’ understaffing of checkpoints in Dover have been blamed for the hold-ups.

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Travellers faced lengthy delays at Folkestone and the Eurotunnel over the weekend after a backlog of travellers was cleared.

The AA branded Folkestone the new “hotspot of holiday hell”, after two days of disruption at Dover saw thousands stuck in traffic jams as they awaited the beginning of their summer getaway.

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Toby Howe, senior highways manager at Kent County Council and tactical lead at Kent Resilience Forum, said the current queues at the Port of Dover were “normal for a Monday morning”.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that next weekend is likely to be “very busy”.

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Mr Howe said: “It’s the second busiest getaway weekend of the summer holidays.

“As we’ve just found out the weekend just gone, traffic numbers travelling across the Channel were back to pre-pandemic levels and with the increased checks it is slower to get through, so it takes very little to cause those tailbacks.”

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On what the rest of the summer could bring, he said: “Basically it’s a very vulnerable situation, it takes very little to cause further issues.”

He added: “We shouldn’t really have to have queues of traffic due to all of this, so we need more infrastructure in place.

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“We’re really in a difficult position in England that Port of Dover and Eurotunnel have very limited space. Over in France, they have a lot more space so they are able to expand and to allow more space with facilities but we don’t have that luxury in Kent.”