The locals stuck in 'holiday hell' traffic around Dover and Folkestone

People living around Dover and Folkestone say holiday traffic is making their lives a misery.

Many accept that their location near Kent's busiest ports will have an impact during the summer season.

But they say long delays at border crossings, and queues of up to eight hours, have led to gridlock on surrounding roads, many of which are not suitable for lorries.

Extra post-Brexit border checks and French authorities’ understaffing of checkpoints in Dover have been blamed for the hold-ups.

More than 6,000 tourist cars were expected at the port on Sunday, as people continue their summer trips this weekend, after most schools in England broke up for the holidays.

The difference a day makes at Dover ... but surrounding roads are still busy Credit: PA

"It's having a major impact on the community," says local resident Deborah Willson.

"Travelling to Hythe has taken me over an hour, when it should just be twenty minutes.

"It's having an impact on the local shops here too, with deliveries not getting through."

"It's worrying if vital medicines can't be delivered."

There are also concerns that emergency vehicles can't get to where they're needed, putting lives at risk.

Traffic crawling off the M20 at Frogholt

Charlie Hill, who lives in Lyminge, told us the situation was dreadful.

"Just coming back home from Sainsbury's yesterday,"he said, "it's only about three miles but it's taken us an hour and a half to get out. It's affecting everyday life. We just avoid going out."

And Clint McWhinnie, also from the village, said it was impossible to go out and enjoy the weekend with family and friends.

"It's frustrating," he said, "We do expect a little bit of traffic in the area when it comes to summer, but what's more worrying is the anticipation of what's to come from tomorrow when they close the road out of the village.

"How are these roads going to get blocked up with the lorries, the drivers who aren't from this country and are driving on the different side of the road? They don't know the roads and they think they can get down there and they get stuck.

"It's trying to get to work that I'm worried about."

The AA said today that all routes towards the south eastern ports remained busy today, including many minor roads as motorists tried to avoid the motorways.

“Dover has now recovered, but Folkestone has become the hotspot of holiday hell," said Jack Cousens, the AA's Head of Road Policy.

“Drivers are now trying to find alternative routes down to the Eurotunnel terminal at J11a on the M20.

"Holidaymakers are trying to use the M2 and then find ways to ‘drop down’ into the A20 and the terminal via the back roads.

“Drivers heading to Folkestone need to be prepared.

"We have seen that many are waiting for several hours before they get to the terminal, so all the pre-journey vehicle checks are key along with carrying plenty of food, water and entertainment for younger travellers.

"Elsewhere the M25 south west and west sections are currently busy, but they always are around this time on a Sunday, but we’d expect them to calm down by mid-late afternoon."