Hundreds of motorists and truckers have been stranded overnight in Dover after French border control significantly stepped up security yesterday. Police have warned drivers that they face eight-hour delays, and that they should stock up on food and water, or even consider alternative travel arrangements.
There were severe tailbacks backlogs on both the A20 and the A2, while the authorities are attempting to split traffic between tourist, freight and local vehicles.
In a statement posted to Twitter, Kent police said that they would be closing sections of the A20 to distribute water. The force added that "the disruption has been caused by a vast volume of traffic" combined with "delays caused by increased security at the French border".
However, the Port of Dover said this morning that the French border had temporarily cut back down on checks to help beat the backlog of travellers and that queues were "moving faster".
P&O Ferries has also suggested that traffic queues may finally be moving:
Highways England also pointed to increased French security in a statement, saying: "French border police at the Port of Dover and Eurotunnel continue to follow French government requirements to deliver heightened security checks."
There are no delays at the Channel Tunnel, meanwhile, though the operator has warned those expecting to travel that extra security procedures could mean check-in times of up to 90 minutes. Eurotunnel is asking holidaymakers not to arrive early for their scheduled departure, and to stock up on refreshments.
The added security are part of the measures France brought in since it declared a state of emergency since last November, following the mass shootings around Paris which left 130 people dead.
Dale Savage, who was caught in the delays for 12 hours as he made his way to his brother's wedding, told BBC Breakfast that "there was a bit of a camping spirit going on" among those stuck in the jam.
He said: "There are a lot of kids here, a lot of young children – a lot of people want to go on their holidays."