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Holidaymakers wait up to 10 hours on M20 near Folkestone to get to Eurotunnel

Enraged holidaymakers hoping to get away for half-term had to wait up to 10 hours on the M20 to get to the Channel Tunnel, after power supply problems.

Some families decided to turn around after being stuck in traffic near Folkestone, while one person, who did make it onto the Eurotunnel service, described the situation as "absolute carnage".

Delays on the M20 near Folkestone caused by problems at Eurotunnel. Picture: UKNIP
Delays on the M20 near Folkestone caused by problems at Eurotunnel. Picture: UKNIP

Yesterday, Eurotunnel apologised to customers for delays of up to six hours, which it says was caused by a technical fault with the overhead power supply.

A spokesman said this morning: "We did have delays to the service yesterday, following an incident which damaged the catenary. It was a technical problem that has now been resolved.

"At no point during the incident was anyone put at risk.

"We have apologised to customers caught up in the delays and are conducting a thorough investigation into the causes of the incident."

The problems at the tunnel caused a huge backlog of traffic on the coastbound exit of the motorway, at J11a for the terminal.

A diversion was in place, however traffic was also queuing on the left lane on the M20 coastbound, between J11 and J11a.

This morning, Eurotunnel said the technical issue was now fixed, but UK passengers could still expect a three-hour wait at the terminal.

It added: "Be sure, we're working hard to come back to a normal situation."

Holidaymakers caught up in yesterday's problems vented their frustration on Twitter.

Rebecca Horsfield said: "After queueing on the M20 from around half 10 this morning to go to Eurotunnel we are now finally on a train (21:39) about to set off. What a day it’s been! Definitely the worst experience we’ve ever had."

Jonathan Rhodes said: "Wowzers. TEN HOURS since we joined the queue on the M20 to get to #Eurotunnel Folkestone. Still not on board @LeShuttle."

Another user said: "Update.....9 hrs later.....still here waiting at Folkestone...no response from @eurotunnel - absolute carnage at the terminal."

Speaking about the travel chaos, Cllr Gary Fuller of the Sandgate and West Folkestone ward, said nearby residents were used to such queues because of Op Brock and Op Stack, the traffic system bought in to deal with congestion at the Dover ports.

He said: "When this happens there's an inability to go anywhere and get back as it were. Sadly the people of Folkestone are used to it. It doesn't stop people being incredibly frustrated.

"As with many services if you haven't got a decent mitigation strategy in place... you're going to end up frustrating not only your customers but people near the services, as is the case with Eurotunnel."

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