Calais carnage: Brits hit by 'five-hour' delays at French border with schoolchildren among passengers stranded

4 June 2024, 12:08 | Updated: 4 June 2024, 12:12

Hundreds of passengers are facing delays at the French border
Hundreds of passengers are facing delays at the French border. Picture: Twitter/Mike Foster/Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

British holidaymakers have been hit by 'five-hour' delays at border control in Calais with schoolchildren among passengers stranded in France.

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Travel chaos at the French border is continuing into a second day, with hundreds being held up for hours at the border.

Coaches packed full of schoolchildren were among those to have been worst affected on Monday as they attempted to return from half-term trips.

Several schools shared updates to parents on Twitter, informing them of the delays.

One school said: "After a long delay in Calais, our ferry is finally on its way to Dover. We will update you when we get to England but we are looking at 5 hour delay at least."

The delays entered their second day on Tuesday, with ferry provider DFDS warning: "There are queues for coaches with 3 hours wait time at Border Controls [at Calais]."

Despite coaches still being held up, DFDS confirmed that most tourist traffic is free-flowing.

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It comes after P&O said in a statement on Monday: "There is currently an approx 5-hour wait time for coaches at border controls in Calais.

"We will transfer you onto the next available crossing once you reach our departure lanes. Thank you for your patience."

The delays sparked outrage among passengers, with some referring to the scenes as "carnage".

One woman told KentOnline: "Carnage isn't the right word for it.

"It would be understandable if there was some organisation but it was a dash to get on the ferry."

She continued: "People were shouting and beeping at each other as people tried to get in front of each other."

Holidaymakers have also shared their frustration online, with one tweet reading: "So the wait time is more like 8 hours now, not 5 for sure. Unacceptable! Majority of coach passengers are children!"

A mother said: "My son has been stuck on his school coach for hours, add on the journey to the port and they’ve been on the coach for over 8hrs, they’re running out of drinks and phone battery. This is a disgrace."

A third person added: "The set up at Calais is atrocious. No staff to assist passengers or update them on what is happening and why it’s such a mess. Just lazy text messages to say delays are getting longer!!"

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