Huge queues in Dover as lack of ferries and inclement weather spark scenes of chaos

The suspension of P&O ferry services between Dover and Calais has caused huge queues in Kent, with car and lorry traffic coming to a standstill

Truck and car drivers are stuck in traffic jams that last for hours
Truck and car drivers are stuck in traffic jams that last for hours

Would-be ferry passengers have been stuck for hours as huge queues lead to Dover.

Weather problems and ferry bottlenecks caused by problems at P&O have resulted in huge congestion at the port, which has pushed back into the city centre.

Miles of lorries are now clogging the roads in the city of Kent.

As part of Operation Brock – launched to deal with traffic disruption caused by post-Brexit paperwork problems – the motorway between junctions eight and nine remains closed to all but freight traffic.

Area residents had hoped they had seen the last of Brock, where parts of the A2 and M20 were converted into a two-way transport system.

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The congestion was caused in part by suspended P&O ferry services



The system had to be reintroduced due to the cessation of P&O Ferry services following the company’s sudden dismissal of UK staff.

P&O has yet to receive permission to resume trips to France with cheaper agency staff.

The ferry company has urged its customers to come to Dover anyway, where they will be given a seat on a competing service.

Those trying to reach the port have been bogged down in the congested transport system, made worse by increased demand for the Easter holiday.

One woman wrote to Irish Ferries: “I’ve been sitting in line at Dover for over five hours now, waiting to get on your ferry.

“What a fiasco. Their website says the 6.55am ferry was on time. Why am I waiting at 10:03 am to still get through the barrier? This is the first and now the last time I use a ferry!”

P&O Ferry services were suspended after the company laid off 800 employees on the spot



A man who lives in the area tweeted: “Stuck again!

“Dorm doesn’t come to work/doctors/shopping!! Not to mention the poor truck drivers! Why is this still happening!!!”

Another woman added: “Don’t come to Dover, all routes are totally blocked.”

A Department for Transport spokesman said they were aware of queues in Dover and that the Kent Resilience Forum was “working to minimize disruption by using temporary traffic management measures by default”.

A P&O Ferries updater on Twitter said: “Services (between Dover and Calais) remain canceled today. Please arrive as booked, we will pick you up with an alternative transport company as soon as possible.

“Once you have arrived at the port, please proceed to the DFDS (Dover) or P&O (Calais) check-in desks. We apologize for the inconvenience this may cause.”

The situation at P&O has deteriorated overnight due to difficult weather conditions in the English Channel.

The problems have caused hours of delays



Eurotunnel Le Shuttle also reports hour-long delays before check-in.

The Port of Dover Travel Twitter account warned that the access roads were “very busy” and that people using local transport “should use alternative routes where possible”.

The suggestion sparked anger from a person living in the city, who replied: “There are no alternative routes. They’ve clogged Dover.

“Don’t make the trucks jump in line anymore. Let them return to Maidstone to queue.”

The travel woes are likely to impact those flying this week, as airline passengers are warned to expect long waits at UK airports over the Easter holidays due to a chronic shortage of check-in staff and security guards.

“We think there will be queues at peak times over the Easter period,” Karen Dee, chief executive of the Airport Operators Association, told the BBC.

She said the industry will need to hire “tens of thousands” of workers as it expands after Britain’s Covid-19 travel restrictions are lifted.

London’s Heathrow Airport alone needs another 12,000 employees, she said.

“We started this process some time ago, but unfortunately at this scale, especially in a tight labor market, it will take time,” she added.

Lorries and motorists are also experiencing lengthy delays boarding ferries at Dover Port.

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Fry Electronics Team

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