Monday, 3 Oct 2022

Travel misery spreads to Eurotunnel as gridlock prompts dire AA warning for holidaymakers

Travel delays spread from Dover to Eurotunnel in Folkestone

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British holiday travellers are being told to expect “chaos” at the Eurotunnel terminal at Folkestone. This comes as the travel misery, which has caused hours-long traffic at the Port of Dover in the past two days, has now spread to the Eurotunnel. A critical incident is still in place, alongside Operation Brock, with Highways England warning of “severe delays” throughout today.

Speaking to Sky News, Jack Cousens, Head of Roads Policy at the AA, said that Dover had seen a massive improvement compared to the queues seen on Friday and Saturday.

But, he added the chaos “is shifting towards the Eurotunnel terminal at Folkestone”.

He explained: “I think the situation today is one of improvement, particularly at the Port of Dover.

“Looking just before coming on air they’re advising in the approach roads minimal delays of around 15 to 20 minutes so that’s a good improvement.”

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Mr Cousens continued: “But at Folkestone we had lorries being stacked as part of Operation Brock on the M20, and the subsequent diversion now onto the A20.

“They now meet each other at the terminal at junction 11 and that’s causing congestion.

“Our concern is that the Eurotunnel is now going to be the main problem of congestion, particularly in the southeast.”

He said the AA is advising holidaymakers heading to both Dover and Folkestone to be prepared for delays and take plenty of food and water.

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One young family told BBC Breakfast today that they spent 21 hours in bumper-to-bumper traffic on roads around Folkestone.

Andrew Dyer-Smith and his family, who are heading to France for their summer holiday, said: “We arrived at Folkestone at 9am yesterday morning for a train at 10.30 and then have been slowly crawling along for the last 21-plus hours.”

The Eurotunnel has warned that processing times from check-in to boarding are currently around 90 minutes.

They are expecting around 7,000 cars to travel today.

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Simon Jones, a BBC reporter, said: “Dover is busy, but the roads are largely moving freely and any congestion is being controlled.

“In Folkestone though, it’s chaos. Drivers are struggling to get to the Eurotunnel terminal.

“Part of the M20 is shut to park 600 lorries – so the rest of the traffic is being diverted onto other roads, and those roads simply can’t cope.

“The queues are so long that food and drink is being handed out to weary motorists.”

Meanwhile, P&O Ferries, one of the firms operating out of the Port of Dover, is still advising travellers to arrive “at least” two hours early today.

This is despite P&O Ferries claiming there are queues of just 15 minutes to reach border checks.

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