Brit travel warning as entire SUMMER of chaos looms after Channel Tunnel is dubbed ‘hotspot of holiday hell’ | The Sun

BRITS have been warned to expect an entire summer of travel chaos as the Channel Tunnel crumbles under the pressure of high demand.

The undersea route linking the UK to France has been dubbed the "hotspot of holiday hell" as vehicles were backed up bumper to bumper.

Holidaymakers have been warned the Kent port is on a "knife edge" as the country's travel mayhem entered its third torturous day.

A "critical incident" was declared at Dover on Friday, with holidaymakers told to arrive six hours early for ferry queues lasting up to five hours.

A ramp up of post-Brexit border checks and French authorities' understaffing checkpoints have been blamed for the hold-ups.

Local authorities have now urged ministers to handle the issue as a "national problem" instead of the "sticking plaster" approach.

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Passengers at Folkestone said they were "treated worse than cattle" while stuck in their cars for up to 21 hours this weekend.

The gridlock was blamed on the decision to shut a 24-mile stretch of the M20 due to Operation Brock.

Kent Police effectively turned the roads into a car park for thousands of lorries in an attempt to ease congestion – which seems to have backfired.

The AA branded the entrance to the Eurotunnel in Folkestone the "hotspot of holiday hell", warning drivers to "be prepared".

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Transport bodies have now called on the government to boost investment for the "fragile" infrastructure in Dover.

It is feared minor issues could "expand the chaos" as the Channel crossing struggles to cope.

Head of roads policy at the AA Jack Cousens shared his worries that delays will last throughout the warm months.

He explained: "We are concerned that we could be in for a repeat of this congestion across the summer.

"Drivers due to use both Dover and Folkestone to head into Europe on Fridays, Saturdays and Sunday mornings between now and the reopening of schools may see a repetition of these delays."

Tortured travellers were forced to use the jammed roadsides as a public urinal, while some passed out in the sweltering heat.

Toby Howe, from the Kent Resilience Forum, which oversees the response to delays at Channel crossings, told The Times another "red" situation is expected next weekend.


He said: "We have a traffic management plan where we can control freight, in particular, to enable traffic to get to the Eurotunnel and the Port of Dover.

"The trouble is, it is on a knife edge. It takes very little to disrupt that plan."

Chaos quickly ensued on Friday – the busiest weekend of the summer – when five French border officers failed to arrive at the Port of Dover.

Bosses revealed checks by French officials on British soil since Brexit have almost tripled processing times for each vehicle.

Combined with increased demand in crossings as families shun airport queues as the summer holidays begin, it has created the "perfect storm" for motoring mayhem.

And it shows no sign of slowing down yet – with travel chiefs warning there is a "way to go" before normality resumes.


It comes after top Tories including the likes of Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss blamed France for the standstill traffic at Dover due to them failing to send enough border staff.

Speaking at a campaign visit in Kent, Truss said: "This is a situation that has been caused by a lack of resources at the border.

"And that is what the French authorities need to address and that is what I am being very clear with them about."

The government also adopted the same stance, but denied that post-Brexit border checks had played a "significant role in the disruption."

But French politician Pierre-Henri Dumont, Republican MP for Calais, has blamed the UK's exit from the EU, telling BBC News it was "an aftermath of Brexit" with more checks needed and claiming the Dover port is "too small" with too few kiosks due to lack of space.

A spokesman said: "A shortage of French border control staff, along with a serious accident on the M20 and exceptionally high numbers of people travelling, led to roads in Kent becoming extremely busy."

But bosses at the packed port insisted they can handle the cascade of travellers as long as the "entire port system is working efficiently".

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Holidaymakers reported delays of seven hours at Dover this weekend, while the BBC said one man had been waiting to make the crossing for "30 hours".

Another family told the broadcaster they moved just 75m in six hours – and eventually decided to abandon their place in the queue to risk a quicker route.

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