France-bound travellers warned of two-and-half-hour delays at Dover

The UK port says this weekend will be its busiest of the year. It is hoping to avoid a repeat of the long hold-ups at Easter

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Travellers to France are being warned to prepare for a long wait at Dover this weekend as the UK school holidays begin.

The port - trying to avoid a repeat of the 14-hour delays at Easter - has told passengers to arrive no more than three hours before their crossing.

It said delays of two and a half hours could be expected at peak times on Saturday (July 22) and Sunday (July 23) morning.

Border controls take around 90 minutes on peak days, but this may take an hour longer between 6:00 and 13:00 this weekend, the port added.

Read more: Brexit row after delays of up to 14 hours at Dover ferry port

Easter delays

Dover declared a “critical incident” at Easter when delays of up to 14 hours caused mayhem at the port.

A row then broke out between MPs over the reasons for the problems.

The port said Brexit was a factor in the delays, as processing times for each passenger had increased as a result of Britain no longer being in the EU, with “lengthy French border processes”.

To try and avoid a repeat of this situation, the port said it has implemented various measures including the installation of “additional border control infrastructure”, increasing the number of booths available for tourist traffic, and reinstating the “coach processing facility” to conduct “advanced passenger information checks”.

Do not turn up too early

The Port of Dover is expecting around 13,000 cars this weekend as the school holidays get underway in the UK.

To ensure travellers “have the best possible start to their holidays”, it recommends the following:

  • Do not arrive more than three hours before your booked crossing

  • Only use main routes to get to the ferry terminal to avoid causing traffic delays for yourself and local residents

  • Do not turn up without a reserved crossing

  • Have your passports open and ready before you get to border controls

  • Have sufficient food, snacks and entertainment to ensure a comfortable journey for your family.

It says if travellers have issues with a scheduled crossing, they will be put on the next available boat.

Port of Dover’s Twitter page provides regular traffic and weather updates, as do the pages for the three companies operating ferries out of Dover: DFDS, P&O and Irish Ferries.

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