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Published on : Saturday, July 23, 2016
Vacationers have been hit by delays of up to 12 hours while travelling through Kent to get to the Port of Dover, with many of them stuck in traffic overnight. Port authorities said delays were due to French border checkpoints being understaffed during heightened security levels.
Police warned queues were still over five hours long. They are flying in water for stranded motorists by helicopter.
Ian, one of the motorists stuck in the traffic, warned there could be fatalities if people failed to get food and water. He said: “This is epic proportion and if someone doesn’t take hold of this someone is going to die out here.”
The London-bound carriageway of the A20 was earlier closed to allow police motorbikes to deliver drinks, as temperatures soared. Water is being collected from the Coastguard base at Langdon, near Dover.
Security checks at the Port of Dover were relaxed around lunchtime to help speed up the process of motorists through the port. Waiting time within the port’s holding area was reported to be around 40 minutes.
Kent Police have advised travellers to pack food and water and consider making alternative travel arrangements.
Kent County Council said only three out of a potential seven booths were available overnight at French border control.
At one stage only one French officer was available to check passengers on hundreds of coaches.
Ferry companies have said they would hold sailings to ensure people could travel and said those who missed their crossing because of the traffic will be put onto alternative crossings.