Traffic jams in Dover are expected to continue until the end of the Easter holiday, as carriers run out of patience

Traffic jams in Dover are expected to continue until the end of the Easter holiday, as carriers run out of patience

Trucks in the port of Dover. Drivers will be stuck in traffic for an average of 30 hours.AP . image

Nearly a week ago, the M20, motor vehicle traffic on the roads to reach the Channel Tunnel or the Port of Dover, faced long traffic jams. As expected, crowds decreased somewhat over the weekend, but that trend has reversed since Monday. Drivers will be stuck in traffic for an average of 30 hours. With Easter approaching, forecasts are that freight traffic and holidays will increase even more.

Local authorities are now reporting that Operation Brook, the emergency plan for a dangerous traffic jam on the M20 motorway, will remain in effect until the end of the Easter holiday. 37 kilometers of the M20 motorway towards Dover has been completely cleared for trucks bound for the European Union. The other half of the motorway will be divided for domestic and non-goods traffic that wants to reach the European mainland. In this way, other road users should not be disturbed as little as possible by the kilometre-long traffic jams caused by trucks.

Congestion is caused by the accumulation of problems. For two weeks, all ferry services of P&O Ferries, which is in a legal dispute with the British government, have been cancelled. In addition, an important IT system that Customs has used since Brexit to check papers has been broken due to a malfunction. Thus, the checks take from 15 to 20 minutes per driver. The introduction of an alternative system did not lead to the desired result.

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impatience

So the transport organizations on both sides of the canal began to grumble. Truck drivers wait dozens of hours without amenities. According to the Dutch transport organization TLN, they also have problems with driving and rest times, sometimes spending hours looking for a parking space.

According to TLN, carriers that connect to other ferries will soon lose an additional 2,000 euros per truck. This is why the organization, with a few supporters, wrote to Secretary of State Aoki de Vries for Allowances and Customs. They ask her to relax with her fellow Briton, to take emergency measures to boost traffic flow, and to be forgiving when driving times are exceeded.

UK carriers have also run out of patience. “This should not happen every time there is an operational failure,” said Rod Mackenzie of the Road Transport Association. It is expensive and damaging to the UK’s economy and reputation. It is time to take decisive action and solve this long-standing problem.

Transporters of perishable goods are particularly concerned. They fear that European importers will ignore the UK in the future, because dealing with the British is too much of a hassle. There will also be no more drivers available for trips to the UK, because they know they will face severe delays. TLN reports that some Dutch carriers have already halted flights to the other side of the canal.

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