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Storm Gerrit and staff sickness cause long delays at Port of Dover

Passengers heading to Europe are facing long delays due to staff sickness among French border officials.

There were delays of up to three hours today at the Port of Dover – with winds from Storm Gerrit also battering the county creating disruption.

The Port Of Dover is experiencing delays
The Port Of Dover is experiencing delays

The waiting time has since been reduced to 100 minutes.

Posting on X, formerly known as Twitter, the Port of Dover says: “The current wait time at the French border is 100 minutes. The additional processing time today is a result of staff sickness within Police aux Frontières. All teams are working hard to get everyone on their way as quickly as possible.”

Passengers arriving at the port are processed by Police aux Frontieres (PAF) – French border workers – before boarding ferries.

Those who miss booked departures because of the queues were put on the next sailing with space available.

The disruption for ferries had had a knock on effect on the roads in the town.

One lane is closed on the A20 as Dover TAP is implemented on the coastbound stretch from the Roundhill Tunnel.

A yellow weather warning is in place across parts of Kent. Picture: Met Office
A yellow weather warning is in place across parts of Kent. Picture: Met Office

The left-hand lane is only for lorries heading to the Port of Dover. All other traffic should use the right-hand lane.

Storm Gerrit has prompted a yellow weather warning from The Met Office which is in place until 6pm.

Coastal parts of the county could face winds of between 50mph and 60mph with the strongest winds on exposed headlands.

There is also a risk to high-sided vehicles on exposed routes and bridges.

It is likely that some coastal routes, sea fronts and coastal communities will be affected by spray and/or large waves.

Ferry operators DFDS and P&O have reassured customers they will still be able to travel even if they miss their booked sailing.

P&O writes on X: “There are currently queues at passport control, please allow an extra 180mins to clear all security checks, before check-in closes 60mins before your booked sailing time.

“Rest assured, if you miss your sailing, you'll be on the first available once at check-in.”

While DFDS says: “We are aware of the wait times at controls to complete necessary checks for travel. Please be rest assured that if you miss your booked departure, our teams are ready to accommodate you onto the next available departure upon arrival the DFDS check-in.”

People are being advised to check road conditions and bus and train timetables before setting off and to prepare for power cuts by digging out torches and batteries and a mobile phone power pack.

Walkers near cliffs and coasts are advised to know their route and keep dogs on a lead and in an emergency, call 999 and ask for the coastguard.

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