Legal experts reminds travellers of their rights if hit by Dover delays

By Linsey McNeill
06/04/2023
Home » Legal experts reminds travellers of their rights if hit by Dover delays

A consumer law expert is reminding coach passengers of their legal rights as Dover announces plans to limit the number of vehicles passing through the port on Good Friday.

The port says it plans to stagger coaches due to leave Dover tomorrow over a three-day period to avoid a repeat of last weekend’s chaos.

Dover was forced to declare a critical incident last Friday when some coach passengers ended up waiting in queues for more than 12 hours.

Post-Brexit passport checks mean that it’s taking longer to process passengers, causing long delays.

The Port of Dover says it will put up a marquee to help process coach passengers this weekend. Queues for passport checks were already an hour long by mid-morning today.

Which? consumer law expert Lisa Webb said: “Thousands of holidaymakers will understandably be anxious that limits to the number of coaches permitted to cross at the Port of Dover could spell disaster for their Easter getaway plans.

“Affected coach companies running scheduled services need to keep customers informed of any potential changes to their bookings.”

She said that if passengers with a journey of more than 250km is cancelled or delayed, they must be offered the choice of a full refund or alternative transport.  “If that choice isn’t offered, then customers could be entitled to additional compensation of 50% of the ticket price,” she said.

“For shorter journeys, check the coach operator’s terms and conditions, but remember that if you pay for a service that isn’t provided, you’re probably entitled to a refund.

“If you booked your trip as part of a package holiday, and that holiday is significantly altered as a result of the delays at Dover, for example your trip is curtailed but not cancelled, make a claim to your holiday provider for a partial refund.

“You may even be able to make a claim for loss of enjoyment.”

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