LiveTraffic and travel news - live: Dover port traffic latest, queues ‘around an hour’, summer disruption warning

Passengers have been told to “allow a minimum of 120 minutes before your departure to complete all controls”

People travelling to the Port of Dover are still facing long queues on Monday (25 July) amid fears that the severe disruption seen in recent days could return to Kent throughout the summer.

Ferry operator DFDS told passengers that there were “queues of around an hour” for French border checks.

They added that people should “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.”

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.

This was blamed on a staffing shortage at French border control and a serious crash on the M20 motorway.

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Last updated: Monday, 25 July, 2022, 11:08

Port of Dover: ‘there is minimal dwell time to get through the port'

“The Port of Dover is pleased to report that traffic is flowing normally this morning.

“There is no Port of Dover traffic being held in Brock on the M20, the Dover TAP system on the A20 is not currently required, and all traffic is contained in the port with local roads operating normally.

“The French border is well staffed and there is minimal dwell time to get through the port and on to the ferries.”

Nearly 142,000 people travelled through the port over the weekend.

Port of Dover summer travel in ‘a very vulnerable situation'

On what the rest of the summer could bring, Toby Howe, senior highways manager at Kent County Council and tactical lead at Kent Resilience Forum, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme:

“Basically it’s a very vulnerable situation, it takes very little to cause further issues.

“So, for example, last Friday night we had the Port of Dover telling us there was a lack of resource at the port but we then had a serious crash on the motorway as well so those two things together then really compounded the situation, so you only need another crash on the road or maybe a train breaks down or there’s a power failure somewhere for it then to become a big problem.”

Toby Howe, senior highways manager at Kent County Council and tactical lead at Kent Resilience Forum

On what is needed to avoid this happening, Mr Howe said: “We shouldn’t really be having to use our roads as lorry and car parks.

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

Liz Truss labels Dover queues ‘unacceptable’ and ‘entirely avoidable'

Foreign Secretary Liz truss has criticised the delays and queues at Dover today, and has called on action from France to avoid such situations in the future.

She said in a statement: “This awful situation should have been entirely avoidable and is unacceptable.

“We need action from France to build up capacity at the border to limit any further disruption for British tourists and to ensure this appalling situation is avoided in future. We will be working with the French authorities to find a solution.”

Grant Shapps ‘working closely’ with French transport minister over Dover delays

Grant Shapps has said he is “working closely” with the French transport minister, after a “critical incident” was declared by the Port of Dover due to six-hour queues.

The Transport Secretary tweeted: “There’s been severe delays today at Dover & so I’m working closely with my opposite number Clement Beaune to address the issues that caused tailbacks.

“I welcome his commitment that both Britain & France will work closely to minimise further disruption so people can get away quickly.”

While Foreign Secretary Liz Truss labelled the delays and queues at Dover “unacceptable”, calling it an “entirely avoidable” situation.

Port of Dover chief can’t promise chaos will be gone by Saturday

The chief executive of the Port of Dover said staff are focused on tackling the “critical bottleneck” but could not promise the chaos would be gone by Saturday.

Doug Bannister told BBC News: “Right now our intention is to get the traffic moving. It will take us a little while to clear the backlog.

“It’s a busy weekend in front of us, tomorrow is going to be a busy day as well. This is just the start of a very busy summer for us so we need to be getting attention on this for the rest of the summer, really.”

Asked whether he could reassure travellers planning a trip over the coming days that the backlog would ease, he said:

“I really wish I could – we’re putting all the attention we possibly can do on ensuring there will be enough resources in place to manage this very busy first weekend of the summer.

“It’s this critical bottleneck… we need to make sure resources are appropriate.”

Port of Dover chief: ‘immensely frustrating’ to be ‘let down’ by poor resourcing at French border

The chief executive of the Port of Dover said it is “immensely frustrating” to be “let down” by poor resourcing at the French border.

Doug Bannister told BBC News the port had shared “granular detail” on an “hour-by-hour basis” about the amount traffic it was expecting.

He said it became clear at around 4am that there would be a “challenge”.

“I am so sorry that the travellers we have going to the port today are being impacted.

“To be let down in the way that we have with inadequate resources and slow processes through the border is just immensely frustrating.

“We’ve shared in granular detail, on an hour-by-hour basis, the amount of traffic we were anticipating, so it was completely known what we needed to have in place at the French border.”

Travellers at Port of Dover have waited inside terminal since 5am

Travellers hoping to set out from Dover have waited inside the terminal for a bus to shuttle them to a ferry from as early as 5am, as coaches remain stuck in traffic outside the port.

Port staff have offered complimentary refreshments vouchers for stranded passengers.

Detlef Henke, 50, had been on holiday in the UK with his wife, and had walked to the ferry terminal at 5am hoping to catch a bus to get them on to a boat departing at 9.50am.

The couple missed their boat and were still waiting for the bus to arrive at 10.45am.

“The guys told us that we must wait. They don’t know where the bus is.

“We also have refreshment vouchers.”

P&O Ferries tell Dover passengers to allow ‘six hours to clear all security checks’

“Please be aware that there is heavy traffic at border control in the port of Dover.

“If you are booked to travel today please allow at least six hours to clear all security checks.”

Ferry operator P&O Ferries

Traffic builds on M5 as protesters demonstrate over fuel prices

Traffic has started building on the M5 near Bridgwater - one of the areas where fuel price protesters planned to carry out “slow-moving roadblocks”.

Huge queues at Port of Dover

Cars queue at the Port of Dover in Kent as families embark on getaways at the start of summer holidays for many schools in England and Wales.

The Kent Port said staffing at French border control at the Port of Dover is “woefully inadequate” causing holidaymakers to be stuck in long queues.

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