Holidaymakers stuck in long queues as Port of Dover ‘critical incident’ declared | UKNews

Holidaymakers are stuck in long queues heading into the Port of Dover – with French immigration being blamed for causing a “critical incident”.

The delays may be as much as four hours, according to early reports.

Doug Bannister, the port’s chief executive, said “woefully inadequate” staffing was to blame for the “major disruption.”

He told Sky News: “The cause of it is French immigration controls.

“We’ve been let down this morning despite the planning of the last several months to get ready for this day.”

Mr Bannister added: “This is causing major disruption. French border controls are not properly staffed.”

In a long statement, the port said it had “worked so hard in good faith” with local and government partners over the course of several months as it prepared for the “busy summer”.

It added: “We are deeply frustrated that the resource at the French border overnight and early this morning has been woefully inadequate to meet our predicted demand.”

Dover said it had “trained a new team of passenger champions to be on hand and assist customers at the port”.

Referring to detailed preparations, it said it had “shared traffic volumes in granular detail with the French authorities in order that these volumes can be matched by adequate border resource”.

It went on: “We know that resource is finite, but the popularity of Dover is not a surprise.

“Regrettably, the Police Aux Frontieres (PAF) resource has been insufficient and has fallen far short of what is required to ensure a smooth first weekend of the peak summer getaway period.”

The port said it was stressing the “importance of adequate French border resource for the coming days and weeks on which we had previously been assured”.

It concluded: “We have to work as a team.”

Roads to watch for delays over the weekend

  • M25 anticlockwise Junction 4 Bromley to Dartford
  • M4 eastbound Junction 30 Cardiff East to Junction 24 for the A449 Monmouth
  • M25 anticlockwise Junction 17 Maple Cross to Junction 12 for the M3
  • A303 westbound past Stonehenge
  • M25 clockwise Junction 7 M23 to Junction 16 for the M40
  • M5 southbound Junction 15 Almondsbury Interchange to Junction 23 for the A38 Bridgwater
  • M25 anticlockwise Junction 17 Maple Cross to Junction 12 for the M3
  • Source: RAC

There could also be major disruption on the roads – with fuel price protests planned for Friday threatening to unleash further chaos as millions of families head off on their summer holidays.

Protesters plan to cause delays with “slow-moving roadblocks” on parts of the M4, M5, M32 and A38, police warned.

Fuel Price Stand Against Tax, a Facebook group with 53,000 members, shared a post suggesting activists will assemble “nationwide” to make their voices heard.

Protests are planned in Birmingham, Cardiff, Liverpool, London and Manchester.

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