Holiday travel chaos - calls for government to intervene to get ferries sailing from Dover

Delays at the Port of Dover Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire/PA Images

Labour's urging the government to intervene amid warnings holidaymakers hoping to get away for Easter could face long delays and severe disruption at the Port of Dover and UK airports.

After cutting thousands of jobs during the coronavirus pandemic, the aviation industry in general is suffering from difficulties recruiting staff and waiting for security checks to be passed on new employees.

There has also been a recent rise in coronavirus-related staff sickness.

Operation Brock on the M20 in Kent

Shadow Transport Secretary Louise Haigh has urged ministers to prioritise staff at major airports for Home Office security checks so they can start work as soon as possible.

Ms Haigh MP said: "Brits are facing a week of travel disruption, and this Conservative Government are missing in action.

"Tory ministers need to step-up and act to ease the disruption.

"The Government need to begin clearing the huge backlogs in security checks so airport staff can safely begin work."

Ms Haigh also called on ministers to open emergency talks with ferry operators and Eurotunnel to increase capacity following the suspension of services by P&O Ferries after it controversially sacked 800 seafarers.

Congeasrtion on roads in Kent

With up to 70 sailings a day still reportedly affected, roads in Kent have seen long tailbacks as lorries queue to get into the port of Dover.

"They (ministers) need to look urgently at what powers they can use to forceP&O Ferries to re-employ trained and experienced staff on their original terms to get the routes up and running," Ms Haigh said.