Kent saw queues of lorries stretching for 5 miles on Tuesday after the French started trials of post-Brexit checks at their ports.
French trials of post Brexit checks causes miles of lorry queues in Kent: Lorries that were due to travel across the English channel found themselves stuck on the M20 motorway heading to the Channel Tunnel crossing at Folkstone. And the ferry terminal at the Port of Dover with lines of lorries stretching back to junction 11.
The Government warned last month that, in the worst case scenario, queues of as many as 7,000 lorries could be seen on the motorway heading to the southern ports. Whether a deal is struck or not. Delays on Tuesday were caused by French border controls rehearsing new immigration checks in Calais in readiness for January 2021.
A spokesman for Highways England said of Tuesday’s delays “On a conference call chaired by Kent Police at 16.00 we were informed that the trial has now finished and traffic is now free flowing within the port. The queue of HGVs is backed up to around M20 J11, but we expect this to start to ease given the trial is no longer operational.”
The French controls require truck drivers to provide passports, and are asked about proof of means, their destination and length of stay which can last up to 70 seconds per passenger.
Come January trucks will also have to face checks for food, drink and agricultural products along with customs in both directions.
However, on the British side of the channel, these checks will be phased in over a 6 week period so as to avoid congestion. Kent County Council last week expressed worries regarding the transportation of livestock that could be caught up in the queues for hours with head of trading standards Steve Rock saying “We do have concerns over the impact the road system will have. And particularly the impact on animals in transit.”
The Department for Transport is looking to hire private contractors to assist Kent Police in managing the traffic. Although the local police have said if any extra workers are brought in they would not be involved in any enforcement action.
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