The Port of Dover saw its busiest December for four years in spite of widespread gloom in the UK economy.
The number of HGVs travelling through the port rose by nearly 10,000 from 163,000 in December 2007 to 173,773 last month.
Passenger numbers during the last month of the year increased by an extra 118,000, and the port handled nearly 30,000 more cars in December 2008 than in the same month the previous year.
“Several factors came into play, boosting traffic volumes through Dover,” said Bob Goldfield, chief executive of the Port of Dover. “The Channel Tunnel is still operating at reduced capacity, handling roughly half its normal volumes of passengers, cars, coaches and freight.
“December saw a large number of Eastern European families travelling back to their home countries for Christmas this year – and of course the strong Euro generated additional car, coach and foot passengers from Continental Europe to the UK.”