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Coastguards hand out water to helpless drivers stuck on M20

Members of the Coastguard hand out water to stranded lorry drivers on the M20 in Ashford, Kent Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Operation Stack remains in place due to industrial action in Calais on what is predicted to be the hottest day of the year so far.

Travellers on both sides of the Channel are facing further disruption as a strike looks set to keep the Port of Calais closed until Thursday.

Travellers planning to use the Channel Tunnel are urged to check with the operator before starting their journey Credit: PA Wire

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Road Haulage Association calls for UK Government to lead EU discussions on Calais

The Road Haulage Association is calling for the UK Government to lead cross EU discussions to try and resolve the current crisis situation in Calais.

I welcome the announcement by the Government of more resources however; I believe that only concerted and integrated co-operation right across Europe can resolve this problem...

The resulting delays in freight vehicle movements are costing hauliers millions of pounds. For every hundred vehicles that have had no alternative but to wait, the cost will have been in excess of £30,000 per day. Although no definitive figure for the amount of vehicles stationery in Operation Stack at any one time is available, we’ve received reports from members that numbers at peak periods were over 2,500. This equates to a massive loss of £750,000 per day.

As well as the stress and fear being experienced by the drivers, the freight companies are taking a serious financial hit. In addition to the loss of revenue due to vehicles standing, an incalculable amount of money is also being lost through missed delivery times. What was a chronic situation is now turning into an acute emergency...

– Richard Burnett, Chief Executive of the Road Haulage Association

Operation Stack lifted

An emergency measure which closed parts of the M20 in Kent to traffic other than lorries heading towards the English Channel has been lifted 36 hours after it was introduced following disruption at the port of Calais.

The M20 coastbound is now fully open to all traffic this morning after Operation Stack - in which parts of the M20 are used for lorries travelling to the port of Dover.

Lorries had been queued after the Channel Tunnel was closed amid strike action by French ferry workers on Tuesday, and chaos ensued as migrants in Calais attempted to clamber aboard UK-bound vehicles.

David Cameron has described the scenes at the French port, where 350 migrants hidden in cars and trucks were reportedly found by police within just four hours yesterday morning, as "totally unacceptable".

Home Secretary Theresa May said British and French authorities had stopped "significant numbers" of migrants from entering the UK in recent days, while Mr Cameron called for both countries to work together, insisting there was "no point either side trying to point the finger of blame".

Ten migrants were found in the back of an articulated lorry parked in a truck park in Folkestone, Kent, at around 4.30pm yesterday.

A Kent Police spokesman said: "They were all fine and taken by police to Dover Immigration Centre and are now under their care."

Should the migrant crisis be moved from Calais to Dover?

The ports of Dover and Calais are returning to normal operations after strike action by French ferry workers triggered 36 hours of travel chaos.

It caused a security nightmare as migrants desperate to cross the channel targeted stranded lorries, cars and trains.

But, as traffic started flowing again, the Deputy Mayor of Calais caused political fury by demanding that the frontline of the migrant crisis be moved from Calais to Dover.

Watch Sarah Saunders' report:

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Border staff union: 'Government can't have it both ways'

A union spokesman said budget cuts have left border forces under-manned Credit: Reuters

Budget cuts and changing political priorities have left the UK's border services struggling to implement more rigorous border checks, according to the UK's largest civil service trade union.

A spokesman from the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) told ITV News that government demands to cut costs were leaving the border forces thinly stretched.

The government can't have it both ways, it can't ensure vehicles and all passports are checked at our borders, while cutting budgets and staff.

The simple fact is, there are not enough bodies on the ground and staff have been routinely shifted from customs checks to passport controls because that has been the political priority.

– PCS spokesman

But speaking in the House of Commons earlier, Home Secretary Theresa May insisted that border security had been maintained.

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Migrants seek hiding spots in lorries stuck at Calais

Migrants are continuing to break into stranded lorries in Calais in a bid to reach Britain.

One man can be seen scrambling up the side of a empty lorry, delayed due to a port workers' strike, to hide in the cab, while another group of men can be seen trying to hide in the back of another stranded truck.

Operation Stack to stay in place all day

Lorries backed up on the M20 Credit: ITV Meridian

Phase Two of Operation Stack is expected to remain in place on the M20 southbound for the rest of today following disruption on the French side of the English Channel.

Lorries backed up on the M20 Credit: ITV Meridian

Kent Police is reminding lorry drivers that those at the front of the queue will get a ticket to continue their journey to the continent. Those who use the diversions for non-freight traffic in an attempt to get closer to the front, and who do not have a ticket, will be sent to the back of the Op Stack queue.

Non-freight traffic is being diverted onto the A20 from Junction 8 (Hollingbourne) and rejoining the motorway at Junction 9 (Ashford West). This allows backed-up freight traffic to park on the coastbound carriageway of the M20.

Operation Stack Phase Two remains in place

Phase Two of Operation Stack remains in place on the M20 southbound following disruption on the French side of the English Channel.

The operation will be in place until the backlog of traffic has cleared.

Non-freight traffic is being diverted onto the A20 from Junction 8 (Hollingbourne) and rejoining the motorway at Junction 9 (Ashford West). This allows backed-up freight traffic to park on the coastbound carriageway of the M20.

Kent Police is reminding lorry drivers that those at the front of the queue will get a ticket to continue their journey to the continent. Those who use the diversions for non-freight traffic in an attempt to get closer to the front, and who do not have a ticket, will be sent to the back of the Op Stack queue.

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