'Truly appalling situation' at Port of Dover as motorists stuck for hours

Queues longer than three hours were reported at the Port today. Credit: Twitter / @GymnasticsNed

Motorists complained of chaos at the Port of Dover as they faced long queues at border controls yet again.

This is the third day (29 May) of disruption at the UK's busiest port, following delays on Friday and Saturday.

Ferry companies have been urging passengers to be patient, with operator DFDS saying it is "aware" of delays at UK and French border controls.

Eyewitnesses at the port reported that only two passport booths were open, further exacerbating the situation.

The Port issued a plea to would be holidaymakers, asking them to not travel to the port unless they have a "booked ticket for travel".

In a series of tweets it acknowledged "all roads" to the port are "extremely busy" and said ferry operators would get passengers moving on all available services.

One passenger told ITV Meridian that they queued for 4 and a half hours before finally being able to get through customs.

They were booked with DFDS, who got them on a boat that was still waiting.

Others have not been so lucky, with hundreds taking to twitter to complain about the delays and confusion on the ground.

Another said the situation was "truly appalling", after they were sat stationary for over 2 and a half hours in a queue with "no movement and no communication".

They added that it was "shambolic" and it could hardly have been a surprise as it was set to be a busy weekend.

MP for Dover and Deal, Natalie Elphicke, said it is "concerning" that half-term holiday traffic has once again brought chaos to the area.

She said the TAP road management system has caused "overnight misery" for Dover's Aycliffe residents and called for a review of the current approach to traffic management in the area.

She said: "It is concerning that the half-term holiday getaway brings traffic chaos to Dover once more.

"The ‘TAP’ road management system has caused overnight misery for two nights running for Dover’s Aycliffe residents. Today also sees rat-running building up through Dover town.

"I remain in frequent contact with the Kent Resilience Forum and Transport Ministers to Keep Dover Clear.

"It’s vital that there is a review of National Highways’ current sticking plaster approach - which increasingly doesn’t work for Dover, Kent or the UK as a whole."

Traffic has backed up for several miles along the A20, as well as on local roads.

Many motorists, including those travelling locally, found themselves stuck in tourist traffic unable to move.

It has led to local bus services being curtailed, as vehicles were gridlocked in Dover.

Stagecoach said it was forced to terminate its 102 service due to "lorries blocking Dover".

In a statement the Port of Dover said the situation was likely to remain in place for "a number of hours".

It said: "The Port is working with its French counterparts to move tourist traffic through the Border Controls as quickly as possible.

"The Port is very busy working with all the Ferry Operators to minimise delays once through the Border Controls."