LONDON (AP) — Truckers and travelers seeking to cross from the United Kingdom to France have faced major disruptions and long wait times for a third day on Sunday the weekend that kicks off the summer holiday. summer for many British families.
Huge lines have formed since Friday at the Port of Dover for those taking car ferries across the English Channel and at nearby Folkestone on routes to the Eurotunnel which crosses under the English Channel to France.
Eurotunnel said drivers still faced a Sunday wait of at least 90 minutes to check in for the shuttle rail.
Still, congestion at the port had eased somewhat from the past two days, when it took several hours to clear a miles-long traffic backlog as tens of thousands went on vacation with a large amount freight trucks.
Since Britain left the European Union in 2020, British travelers have faced tighter border controls when traveling to the continent. At Dover, they are executed on the English side of the Channel by French personnel.
British officials and politicians have blamed the chaos on understaffing at French border posts, a charge denied by the French.
The Port of Dover said checkpoints were “fully busy” on Sunday and by Sunday morning 72,000 passengers had been processed over the long weekend.
Port chief executive Doug Bannister said he was grateful to “everyone who turned the tide” including the French and British authorities. He added that it had been an “incredibly difficult” few days and thanked passengers and the local community for their patience.
Angie Emrys-Jones said she and her family spent 11 a.m. on Saturday queuing for the Eurotunnel, joining the line at 5.30 a.m. and boarding at 4.15 p.m. could see.”
Natalie Chapman of trade group Logistics UK said some lorry drivers endured “over 18 hour” waits on Saturday.
“Before Brexit, you used to wave your passport around and they might or might not get checked. But now everyone is checked and stamped,” Chapman said.
British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said she had a “good conversation” about the travel backlog with her counterpart Catherine Colonna on Saturday. Colonna said there was a need to improve border facilities at Dover.