Going away? Port of Dover reassures holidaymakers over weekend delays

Dover port suffered serious travel chaos last weekend.
Dover port suffered serious travel chaos last weekend.
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The Port of Dover has reassured holidaymakers that it is not expecting further severe delays this weekend, but motorists have been warned they face a so-called Black Saturday of congestion once they cross the Channel.

Tailbacks around the Kent port reached 12 miles last weekend and some holidaymakers were forced to wait for 15 hours on gridlocked roads.

People sit next to their vehicles at the Port of Dover in Kent as motorists face more misery on the roads to Dover amid disruption expected to last until Monday. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday July 24, 2016. Some people were forced to spend the night in their cars after getting stuck in jams leading to the port. See PA story TRANSPORT Channel. Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire

People sit next to their vehicles at the Port of Dover in Kent as motorists face more misery on the roads to Dover amid disruption expected to last until Monday. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday July 24, 2016. Some people were forced to spend the night in their cars after getting stuck in jams leading to the port. See PA story TRANSPORT Channel. Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Police said the disruption was down to the vast volume of holiday traffic coupled with heightened security checks by French officials in the wake of terror attacks.

The Port of Dover, which manages the port, said it does not believe the extent of recent delays will be repeated this weekend.

It issued a statement which read: “Alongside our ferry operator partners, the Port of Dover has spoken with UK and French authorities this week.

“Whilst we do not anticipate further severe delays, this remains our busiest time of the year and we do expect increased traffic volumes as the holiday season continues to get under way.”

It added: “On arrival at the port, please check the overhead gantry for your correct lane, stay in your lane and remain in your vehicle. Have your passports ready and open on the photo page for French border control, to speed up the process.

“In summary, the Port of Dover is not expecting severe delays this weekend but advises those travelling to the port to be properly prepared.”

French highway authorities are warning that heavy congestion is set to hit main routes throughout the country on Saturday, when there is a crossover between holidaymakers heading home and those just beginning their breaks.

Motorists are being advised to delay their journeys until Sunday.

A second Black Saturday is expected on August 6.

Rosie Sanderson of the AA’s international motoring team urged drivers to allow extra time for potential delays at Channel ports as well as within France.

“This weekend marks the end of the July holiday for many French families and the beginning of the August one for others,” she said.

“This means delays can be expected on the arterial French road network on the next two Saturdays, particularly for families heading for the French south coast.

“We believe the British drivers could to be caught up in congestion on the traditional Autoroute du Soleil via Lyon, as well as routes via Bordeaux to the South West and through Clermont Ferrand.

“We believe congestion should ease on the Sunday so that might be the best time to travel, if you can.”

Burano.

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