Brits warned of Easter Bank Holiday travel chaos as ‘significant’ contingency plans put in place after Dover delays

3 April 2023, 21:36

People were left waiting for around 18 hours in Dover
People were left waiting for around 18 hours in Dover. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

Brits have been warned of travel chaos across the Easter Bank Holiday weekend, with "significant" contingency plans introduced following recent Dover delays.

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Contingency plans have been put in place to prevent a repeat of the 18-hour delays experienced at the Port of Dover last weekend.

A critical incident was declared at the time as thousands of passengers got caught up in the backlogs at border control.

The Port of Dover said that they would be conducting a "full review" of plans to improve their approach ahead of the Bank Holiday.

But No10 warned travellers hoping to get away during the extra busy period that they should remain prepared for more delays on the way.

Read more: 'We've had this before!': Keir Starmer says 'of course' Brexit can be blamed for travel chaos at Port of Dover

Read more: Port of Dover clears backlog after 18-hour queue chaos at border control but concerns grow ahead of Easter weekend

Dover delays are 'the post-Brexit reality' says Travel Editor Simon Calder

Asked about potential disruption over the Easter Bank Holiday, the PM’s spokesman said: "We have significant contingency plans in place, we would encourage, as a matter of good practice, passengers to check those adverse weather conditions prior to travel because these can be contributory factors.”

However, they admitted "new processes in place" were adding to delays.

On whether Brexit was impacting the delays, the spokesman added that the French were "inspecting and stamping every single passport".

"We recognise there are new processes in place - that's why authorities were given a long time to prepare for the new checks, including during the transition period, of course," he said.

"And we are in discussion with our French counterparts about how we can further improve the flow of traffic."

The Port of Dover said on Monday: "We continue to offer our sincere apologies to all those affected by the prolonged delays that have occurred over this weekend.

"We will be conducting a full review of our plans with the ferry operators early this week to ensure improvements are made ready for the forthcoming Easter weekend."

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