Travellers warned of another ‘very busy day’ at Dover as Truss calls on France to act
Dover authorities have warned travellers to expect another “very busy day” at the port, as around 10,000 cars are to be processed today.
“Yesterday we processed about 8,500 cars going out,” chief executive Doug Bannister told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
“Today we were predicted to be around 10,000 so it is going to be a very busy day down here.”
The chief executive welcomed the ramp up of French border police, saying it was “vital” for all partners to maintain “the required staffing levels.”
Bannister added that the port was expecting “very busy” summer peak days as processing times have increased due to the extra checks needed post-Brexit.
“We are operating in a post-Brexit environment which does mean that passports need to be checked, they need to be stamped and indeed the capable people that do man the booths, Police aux Frontieres, they’re doing their job that they need to do,” he added.
The chief executive’s remarks came as foreign secretary and Tory leadership hopeful Liz Truss called on France to act over the “entirely avoidable” situation, which left thousands of people stuck in bottlenecks, queueing for hours on end.
Truss blamed the situation on staffing levels at the French border, but a Calais politician said it was due to the UK leaving the EU.
“This is an aftermath of Brexit. We have to run more checks than before,” said Pierre-Henri Dumont, of the Republicans party.
Meanwhile, ferry operators keep telling customers to leave several hours to account for delays.
“Irish Ferries are aware passengers may experience queues and delays approaching Dover and clearing border control checks,” said Irish Ferries while P&O reassured customers that they would board the next available ferry if delayed.
Meanwhile, traffic has reduced in the South-East since the afternoon.
The AA head of roads policy Jack Cousens said: “The picture throughout the day has been one of steady improvement.
“Travellers heading to holiday homes away from the South East earlier today would’ve felt some congestion around lunchtime and into the early afternoon, but those queues have now fallen away.
“It will be of little comfort to those still stuck in traffic heading to Dover and Folkestone that are still in for a long delay, but the backlog has been reducing.”
People took it to Twitter to complain about hour-long bottlenecks for the Eurotunnel in Folkestone.
One Twitter user said he has covered around three miles in nine hours.
While another added: “We’ve moved a couple of miles in seven and a half hours. At least send someone down to reassure people that they will travel at some point.”