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Gridlock at Kent ports must be avoided at all costs, says Logistics UK


Last weekend (22-24 July 2022) saw acute disruption to freight traffic in Kent, with some HGV drivers delayed by more than 18 hours.

The weekend when English state schools break for the summer is usually the busiest single weekend for the Port of Dover. But this year both Eurotunnel and Port of Dover have experienced exceptional disruption. This is owing to a combination of factors, including pent-up demand for post-pandemic foreign travel, French border staff shortages and a new requirement to stamp British passports, which by some estimates almost doubles the time each passenger spends at passport control.

Logistics UK has participated in Kent Resilience Forum meetings ahead of and during this anticipated spike in traffic volumes.

“Through this forum and the extensive press coverage about the situation, we have been encouraging the UK government to work with French counterparts to ensure appropriate staffing levels and resilience at the Border over the summer,” said Natalie Chapman, Head of Policy – South, Logistics UK.

In the face of these delays, welfare facilities for drivers remain a high priority. Logistics UK has asked government to work with the sector on clear delivery plans for the digital border in order to bring forward the benefits of the 2025 Border Strategy for both EU and global trade.

“A few minutes of delay for each vehicle at the border can create significant queues,” Chapman said, “With plans for inbound border checks due to be implemented from the end of 2023, getting this right is more important than ever. To ensure that trade continues to flow smoothly between GB and the Continent, it is imperative that gridlock is avoided at the Kent ports.”

*www.logistics.org.uk/brexit

 

Published On: 28/07/2022 16:00:31

 

In brief

PREPARE FOR TRAVEL TO KENT PORTS, NATIONAL HIGHWAYS URGES

All HGVs heading for the Port of Dover or Eurotunnel must follow the signs to join Operation Brock at M20 Junction 8. Any EU-bound HGVs not complying with signage and trying to use another route to Eurotunnel or the Port of Dover risk a fine of £300. Last weekend, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) officers issued over 100 Fixed Penalty Notices to drivers not complying with Operation Brock.

*www.nationalhighways.co.uk/travel-updates/operation-brock

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