Travel news: UK and France ‘make plans’ to prevent further border travel chaos


Rétin and France have announced that they have drawn up plans to prevent further border chaos.

In a joint statement on Friday, Border Force Director General Phil Douglas and Police aux Frontieres Deputy Director General Brigitte Lafourcade said the two countries were “working closely” to support the smooth flow of traffic.

It comes as tens of thousands of families saw their cross-Channel journey ruined last weekend by gridlock traffic and hours of delays, blamed on a lack of French border officers and school holidays on the M20. There was a serious accident with

Mr Douglas and Ms Lafourcade said: “France and the UK have been working closely together in recent days to prepare for the management of our shared border in the current era of increased passenger traffic.

“Both Police aux Frontiers and UK Border Force, in partnership with port operators, have put in place plans to maximize passenger flows at joint controls on both sides of the Channel this weekend.

Port said (Andrew Matthews/PA) / PA Wire

“France and the UK will continue to work together throughout the summer and beyond to support freight and passenger flows across the Channel.”

The Cabinet Office said earlier on Friday that British and French officials had held formal talks on the travel chaos this week.

They have now set up a new “UK-French Passenger Technical Working Group”, which will meet weekly over the summer to prevent further disruption for passengers traveling on both sides of the Channel.

The Cabinet Office said traffic enforcement was also in place to keep roads passable around Dover and Folkestone.

Earlier on Friday, several major roads across the UK were congested, affecting holidaymakers heading to the south and south-west of England.

This was due to the first switchover days for holidays during the school summer holidays in England and Wales, the rail strike, the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, and the start of the Football League season in England.

The AA put out its first “Amber Traffic Warning” between 11am and 3pm on Friday and Saturday.

Much of the M25 was congested while the M5 was picking up traffic heading south-west.

The M4 westbound towards Bristol, the M55/M6 interchange Preston, Lancashire, the M42 east of Birmingham, the M60 in Manchester and the M62 and A64 towards York were also slow.

Yet fears of a repeat of last week’s horrific delays on roads leading to the port of Dover and Folkestone proved unfounded.

At Dover and Folkestone, operations were much smoother on Friday, with P&O Ferries saying there were “no queues at border controls and traffic flowing freely through the port”.

Port of Dover chief executive Doug Bannister said on Thursday that French border control would be given “full resources”, which would make a “fundamental difference”.

The port expects to welcome around 140,000 passengers, 45,000 cars and 18,000 freight vehicles between Thursday and Sunday.

National Highways, which manages England’s motorways and major A roads, said: “Drivers traveling in and around Kent are advised to plan ahead as this weekend Likely to be very busy.

“Operation Brook Contraflow continues on the M20 and is part of measures to improve the resilience of Kent and ensure the smooth flow of traffic in the region in the event of disruption to services across the English Channel.”

Jack Cousins, head of roads policy for the AA, said: “While this heavy traffic is a source of frustration for many, those working for the British tourism industry should be delighted that so many people are holidaying at home. Want and want to find the best UK offers.

“A shining light is the south-east where both Dover and Folkestone have no delays.

“However, tomorrow will be even busier, so drivers planning to hit the road need to be prepared to hold up traffic.