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Summer travel chaos latest LIVE: ‘Critical incident’ declared at Dover amid six-hour queues

Summer travel chaos latest LIVE: ‘Critical incident’ declared at Dover amid six-hour queues


Protest at Shell garage finished, with small protest taking place at another nearby forecourt

The Shell garage protest in Bridgwater has concluded and it has reopened, Avon and Somerset Police have said.

A small protest though at the nearby Esso garage in Bridgwater is now taking place.


Buses finally arrive for foot passengers

Foot passengers waiting at a Dover terminal punched the air as port staff told them they were finally able to board buses to their ferry.

Some had been waiting from as early as 5am for the 9.15 sailing and were finally able to get on a bus to take them to a boat at around 1.35pm.

Buses also arrived to transport passengers who were booked on 11.15am and 2pm ferries.


Passengers told to allow five hours before travel

P&O Ferries said Jubilee Way is “currently at a standstill”.

It has warned passengers booked to travel today to allow five hours to clear the approach roads and security checks.

“Rest assured ,if you miss your sailing, you’ll be on the first available once at check-in,” P&O Ferries advised passengers.


Port of Dover: ‘Inadequate’ French border capacity

The Port of Dover has urged the UK Government to “continue working with French counterparts” to “adequately resource the border” throughout the summer to “keep our community clear, to get families on their holidays and to keep essential trade moving”.

A statement said: “The port is working to do all it can with ferry operators and local partners to assist with clearing the queues caused by inadequate French border capacity.

“Resource at the French border has increased this morning and traffic is slowly beginning to move, but it will take some time to clear the backlog.

“Passengers need to come prepared with water, food and supplies and to check with their chosen ferry operator for the latest information and advice. Passengers are also asked to avoid trying back routes to reach the port as that makes the situation worse, particularly for local residents.

“Continual high holiday traffic volumes are fully expected, and our freight customers also remain significantly delayed, so we urge French colleagues to adequately resource the border, not just to relieve the current situation, but for the rest of the weekend and indeed the rest of the summer to keep our community clear, to get families on their holidays and to keep essential trade moving.

“The port urges the UK Government to continue working with French counterparts in order to ensure this is the case.”


Pictured: People drag suitcases to cruise terminal

People have been forced to walk with their suitcases to the cruise terminal in Dover, Kent as no taxis or buses are available due to the traffic jams.


Germans wait in campervan for 4.5 hours

A German family has been waiting for four-and-a-half hours in their campervan to try and get on a ferry back to Europe from Dover.

Steffan, 41, was travelling with his wife and two children, aged six and 11, who he said were “playing cards and arguing” as they wait in line.

“I got a message in the evening saying to come at least four hours before takeoff,” he said, but the family had nonetheless missed their ferry, which was due to leave at midday.


‘Critical bottleneck’ is source of problems at Dover

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.”


Small delays on M5 but no longer protest activity in Avon and Somerset, says police

Avon and Somerset police have said the protest convey has exited the M5 and there is “now no protest activity on motorways within Avon & Somerset.”

Small delays in both directions are due to the volume of traffic.

A protest continues at the Shell garage in Bridgwater.


Port of Dover boss says situation is ‘immensely frustrating’

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”.

Mr Bannister said: “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.”

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