CRITICAL incident declared due to high levels of traffic at Dover

Image of the Port of Dover in Kent.

Image of the Port of Dover in Kent. Credit: Christian Mueller/

High levels of traffic at The Port of Dover have meant that a critical incident has been announced as passengers experience waits of up to 12 hours this Saturday April 1, writes The Independent.

The Easter holiday traffic together with bad weather, and delays at the French border have meant P&O Ferries and DFDS Seaways are experiencing delays to their ferry and coach services.

Frustrated travellers made their feelings known on Twitter. Tim Cotterill said, “We were delayed by 12 hours. Port of Dover knew there were 700 coaches coming through today. Some contingencies should have been made.” He said that only three French border officials were processing passengers.

A spokesperson for the port said we “can confirm that a critical incident is underway as the port is currently experiencing high volumes of coach traffic due to the Easter holidays.

“Our present high volumes, combined with extended processing at border controls, has resulted in lengthy delays for coach passengers.

“The port, ferry operators and other partners are working hard to resolve the current issue.”

In conclusion, he added, “We apologise for the inconvenience these delays may have caused to passenger journeys and thank all port users for their patience at this time.”

A spokesperson for DFDS Seaways said: “The queues at Dover today have been as a result of bad weather causing delays to sailings, combined with high volumes of traffic, and particularly coach groups.

“DFDS is working to keep passengers up to date via its website and social media channels, and is transporting passengers on the next available sailing once they have checked in.

P&O Ferries Updates also confirmed at 7.40pm that the delay for coaches was due to “the time it is taking to process each vehicle at French border controls”.

“We apologise for the wait times and have put on an extra sailing this evening to help clear the backlog,” the operator added.

Stranded passengers included schoolchildren reportedly left with no food for more than five hours

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals. When he's not writing for EWN he enjoys gigging in a acoustic duo, looking after their four dogs, four chickens, two cats, and cycling up mountains very slowly.