Families warned of long delays at Dover ahead of the summer rush

Dover delays
By Linsey McNeill
Home » Families warned of long delays at Dover ahead of the summer rush

Families driving to the continent at the start of the school summer holidays are being warned to expect two-and-a-half hour delays at Dover over the two busiest weekends.

In an update issued yesterday, the Port of Dover said delays would be worst in the mornings.

While contingency measures have been put in place, Dover said it anticipated it would take ‘around 90 minutes’ for most passengers to get through border control at peak times this summer, but this could be up to 2.5 hours from 6am to 1pm on the first couple of Saturdays and Sundays after schools in England and Wales break up this week.

During the first weekend of the school holidays last year, families were stuck in queues of more than four hours at Dover.

Dover blamed tighter passport check introduced post-Brexit for the extended processing times.

However, it urged drivers not to turn up more than three hours before their scheduled crossing to avoid creating further congestion.

Port of Dover CEO Doug Bannister said: “We have worked hard with our partners to deliver a series of improvements to our shared operation, engaging in extensive planning for the peak period, and making continual investments that support the ferry operation and protect the local community.”

At Easter, coaches were delayed up to 14 hours at the UK’s busiest port, although it has since introduced a new system of carrying out advanced information checks on coach passengers away from the port to ease congestion.

Also, Dover hopes to have installed an additional booth for French border officials by Friday, which should help ease congestion. It has also created hour-by-hour traffic flow predictions.

Other contingency measures taken by the port to reduce delays include working with coach and ferry operators to spread travel demand during peak times, and it is also providing additional facilities for passengers, including pre-border control pet welfare.

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