15-hour tailbacks in UK at French border

2016-07-24 16:26
A traveller rests on the siding outside his vehicle on the main road leading into the port of Dover. (Daniel  Leal-Olivas, AFP)

A traveller rests on the siding outside his vehicle on the main road leading into the port of Dover. (Daniel Leal-Olivas, AFP)

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Dover - British officials were drafted in to help French border police on Sunday after 15-hour queues built up at the port of Dover due to heightened entry checks.

Stationary vehicles could be seen snaking through the countryside, inland from Dover at England's southeastern tip.

The town is Britain's main ferry port to Calais in northeastern France, 33km across the Channel.

Under a reciprocal agreement, Britain and France have border controls on the opposite side of the Channel.

"We recognise the security pressures that French law enforcement organisations are under at Dover and we have agreed the UK Border Force will assist the PAF (French frontier police) with border checks to remove the backlog," said a spokesperson for Britain's Home Office.

"There has been extraordinary disruption in the Dover area today but safety is paramount."

Some people slept overnight in their cars.

Highways England, which runs the road network, told drivers: "French border police at the Port of Dover and Eurotunnel continue to follow French government requirements to deliver heightened security checks to keep the travelling public safe following the recent attacks in France."

The local Kent Police force said there was a tailback of about 20km, which it put down to a "vast volume of holiday traffic".

People were advised to bring food and drink supplies, while a Sikh humanitarian organisation delivered water and snacks.

Xavier Czerwinski, a senior official from the Pas-de-Calais area, said: "The situation is exceptional because it's the weekend when Britons make the great getaway to the continent.

Read more on:    uk  |  france

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