Huge lorry queues continue to build on main road in Dover

Tailbacks have become so long they can be seen on Google Maps satellite images

Emily Atkinson
Saturday 22 January 2022 13:36 GMT
Lorries queue for the Port of Dover in Kent, as the Dover TAP is enforced due to the high volume of lorries waiting to cross the Channel.
Lorries queue for the Port of Dover in Kent, as the Dover TAP is enforced due to the high volume of lorries waiting to cross the Channel. (PA)

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Lorries on the main road into the Port of Dover are gridlocked in vast queues built up on the A20 from Kent.

The eastbound congestion is currently being managed by The Dover Traffic Assessment Project (TAP), which enforces a 40mph speed limit and restriction on lorry drivers to use the left lane only - “a well-established and regularly used normal operational tool,” a port spokesperson told the BBC.

“Short delays” on the channel route, the ferry operator DFDs warned the broadcaster, are the result of being a vessel short while it undergoes refurbishment.

The spokesperson said: “With traffic returning to normal levels after the Christmas and New Year holidays, there have been short delays but we are working to make sure everyone gets on the earliest crossing possible.”

The tailback - blamed frequently on Brexit - has since become so extensive it can be seen on Google Maps satellite images, reports the Mirror.

One lorry driver told The Independent he been snarled-up in queues of up to 15km (9 miles) since full customs controls were implemented at the start of this month.

The haulier added was being subjected to checks of 15 to 20 minutes per vehicle needed to pass the new Goods Vehicle Movement Service (GVMS) system.

It comes as port chiefs urged the government to hold urgent with the EU on ways to ease further checks set to come into force in September which could cause “disastrous” disruption to trade routes.

“It’s entirely Brexit – you can’t blame it on anything else but Brexit,” said the driver.

“People will get to grips with GVMS and the new paperwork in the weeks ahead. But even if they don’t take as long, checks still take time. So the queues are bound to get worse when traffic flows pick up next month.”

The Brexit condemnation was echoed by Labour MP Ruth Cadbury, member of a cross-party parliamentary group on the Transport Committee, who visited Dover earlier this week.

“There are clearly issues with congestion at Dover. There is no doubt the regulatory changes from Brexit are causing delays,” she told The Independent.

An HMC spokesperson said: “We are aware of some short delays to freight movements at Dover during this week.

“The Goods Vehicle Movement System (GVMS) and other HMRC systems are online and working as planned”.

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