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Drivers stuck in nightmare Dover traffic jams turn roadsides ‘into public urinal’

Stuck drivers had no choice but to relieve themselves on the side of the road (Picture: PA)

Desperate drivers waiting up to 30 hours to cross the Channel to France have resorted to turning the roadside into a public urinal.

Since Friday there have been hellish backlogs of traffic at the Port of Dover, with some saying they waited six hours to move just 75 metres.

Families rushed off for the start of the summer holidays, causing a huge bottleneck of cars, with traffic jams stretching back for miles.

One man told the BBC he’d waited ’30 hours’ to cross the Channel, with many people waiting more than seven hours.

Those taking the ferry instead of the tunnel were told to arrive six hours and faced queues of five hours.

With nowhere else to go, drivers stuck in traffic have had no choice but to turn the side of the roads into a makeshift toilet.

One passenger named Joan told LBC: ‘It’s absolutely horrendous. There are people passing out, we’ve had no police presence, there are people ringing 999, we’ve had no information.

‘The hard shoulder is like a public urinal now, people are trying to give their dogs exercise, we’ve gone through the worst heat of the day and people are running out of water’

Cars queue at the check-in at the Port of Dover in Kent as many families embark on getaways following the start of summer holidays for many schools in England and Wales. Picture date: Saturday July 23, 2022. PA Photo. The RAC said an estimated 18.8 million leisure trips are planned in the UK between Friday and Monday. See PA story TRANSPORT Getaway. Photo credit should read: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire
One man told the BBC he’d waited 30 hour to get across (Picture: PA)
Cars queue at the check-in at the Port of Dover in Kent as many families embark on getaways following the start of summer holidays for many schools in England and Wales. Picture date: Saturday July 23, 2022. PA Photo. The RAC said an estimated 18.8 million leisure trips are planned in the UK between Friday and Monday. See PA story TRANSPORT Getaway. Photo credit should read: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire
‘It’s absolutely horrendous. There are people passing out’, said one passenger (Picture: PA)
Cars queue at the check-in at the Port of Dover in Kent as many families embark on getaways following the start of summer holidays for many schools in England and Wales. Picture date: Saturday July 23, 2022. PA Photo. The RAC said an estimated 18.8 million leisure trips are planned in the UK between Friday and Monday. See PA story TRANSPORT Getaway. Photo credit should read: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire
Queues have been stretching back for miles, with some saying they’ve waited seven hours (Picture: PA)

Joan said she and her disabled older sister Gina entered the traffic jam at around 8.30am and had moved one mile in eight hours.

Gina says she needed the toilet during this time, but she needs specialised accessibility, so was forced to wait.

French and British officials continue to argue over who is to blame for the chaos, with police in France blaming an ‘unexpected technical incident’ in the Channel Tunnel.

Eurotunnel said it had absolutely nothing to do with them and said the ‘critical incident’ was declared after a ‘minor’ technical incident.

Politicians in France have tried blaming the chaos on the introduction of post-Brexit passport checks, carried out by French officers on the English side of the Channel.

Pierre-Henri Dumont, Republican MP for Calais, told BBC News the jams were an ‘aftermath of Brexit’.

Cars queue at the check-in at the Port of Dover in Kent as many families embark on getaways following the start of summer holidays for many schools in England and Wales. Picture date: Saturday July 23, 2022. PA Photo. The RAC said an estimated 18.8 million leisure trips are planned in the UK between Friday and Monday. See PA story TRANSPORT Getaway. Photo credit should read: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire
A blame game is being played between French and UK authorities (Picture: PA)
Cars queue at the check-in at the Port of Dover in Kent as many families embark on getaways at the start of summer holidays for many schools in England and Wales. Staffing at French border control at the Port of Dover is
French police also blamed a ‘technical incident’ in the tunnel, which Eurotunnel says had absolutely nothing to do with the traffic jams (Picture: PA)
People make their way to the cruise terminal in Dover in Kent as no taxis or buses are available due to the traffic jams. Staffing at French border control at the Port of Dover is
People make their way to the cruise terminal in Dover on foot as no taxis or buses are available (Picture: PA)

He said the Dover port is ‘too small’ and had too few kiosks now that passport checks are required.

The port’s chief executive Doug Bannister said traffic was moving faster today, after French authorities sent extra passport officers to man all 12 booths at the ferry terminal.

Immigration Services Union general secretary Lucy Moreton told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that the ‘minimal’ controls during he EU period were inevitably dropped.

She said: ‘It’s certainly the case that the checks are more rigorous than they used to be prior to Brexit. We’re now of course outside the EU, and they’re entitled to treat us as they treat any other non-European traveller.

‘So they do the same level of checks on us as we do – and have always done in fact – on them.

‘This isn’t our border that we’ve taken back control of. In fact, France has taken back control of its border in this respect.

‘This is democracy. There was a vote. Some people voted for it. Some people voted against it. This is one of the outcomes that was reasonably predictable. And this is the time that it’s chosen to bite.’

The Conservative Party leadership candidates have also weighed in on the row, with Rishi Sunak saying: ‘The situation needs to be urgently addressed by the French.

‘They need to stop blaming Brexit and start getting the staff required to match demand. It’s absolutely not acceptable to have families stranded in their vehicles like this.’

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has said she told France’s Foreign Minister, Catherine Colonna, ‘we need to see more action’, blaming French authorities for the mess.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office tweeted a statement from Ms Truss, which said: ‘I spoke to French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna today about the extremely frustrating delays at the Port of Dover and the Channel tunnel terminal in Folkestone.

‘I was clear the French authorities have not put enough people on the border and we need to see action from them to resolve the terrible situation which travellers, including families, are facing.’

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at webnews@metro.co.uk.

For more stories like this, check our news page.









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