Huge 15km lorry queues at Dover blamed on Brexit

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Huge 15km lorry queues at Dover blamed on Brexit
© Provided by Metro Exasperated lorry drivers have reported queueing for up to eight hours to get through controls (Picture: Rex/PA)

Huge 15km queues piling up at the Port of Dover have been blamed ‘entirely’ on extra controls brought in after Brexit.

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Exasperated lorry drivers have reported queueing for up to eight hours to get through controls as staff processing drivers struggle with complex new customs declarations and rules-of-origin forms.

The queues of lorries waiting to be processed have become so long that the tailbacks can even been seen on Google Maps satellite images.

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Images from space show hundreds of lorries lining the roads around the port.

It is not clear when the pictures were taken, with Google Earth only saying it is from March 2021 or newer.

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However they came to light as lorry drivers complained of nine mile queues since full customs controls came into force at the beginning of January.

One driver told The Independent: ‘It’s entirely Brexit – you can’t blame it on anything else but Brexit.’

Huge 15km lorry queues at Dover blamed on Brexit
© Provided by Metro The queues of lorries have become so long that the tailbacks can even been seen on Google Maps satellite images
Huge 15km lorry queues at Dover blamed on Brexit
© Provided by Metro The images have emerged as drivers complain of being stuck for hours due to post-Brexit checks
Huge 15km lorry queues at Dover blamed on Brexit
© Provided by Metro Lorries queuing for the Port of Dover in Kent on Tuesday January 18 (Picture: PA)

The British haulier said it was taking 15 to 20 minutes for each driver to clear checks needed for the UK government’s new Goods Vehicle Movement Service (GVMS) system and other export paperwork at Dover.

They added: ‘People will get to grips with GVMS and the new paperwork in the weeks ahead. But even if they don’t take as long, checks still take time. So the queues are bound to get worse when traffic flows pick up next month.’

There have been reports on social media of even longer queues up to 30km in both Calais and Dover.

Yesterday one person tweeted: ‘Did I just correctly hear that there’s been a 17 mile HGV queue at Dover almost every day since Jan 1?’

A Dover customers worker replied: ‘Correct, and 30km queues in Calais. I am a Dover customs account manager and it is absolute carnage.

‘The sheer volume of red tape is baffling and the confusion grows everyday due to contradictory guidance from http://gov.uk and PortHealth. But we are doing our best.’

Several lorry drivers have posted images of the huge queues they have been facing for days in a row.

One courier posted a video of a car driving past a seemingly endless queue of trucks last night, writing: ‘Here’s the queues into Dover: who’d have thought having to process export docs at the border would create such delays.’

The European driver also blamed the tailbacks on new post-Brexit paperwork, saying checking into the Port of Dover can take hours with ferry staff having to act ‘as customs agents’.

He posted footage of the queue and wrote: ‘This queue can take a few hours up to check in – 10-20 mins per truck. Paperwork processed by ferry staff acting as customs agents.

‘And what happens behind is this. This is a short queue but none the less – will take many hours to board a ferry. Imagine the queues when they are ten miles long.’

Port chiefs have urged the UK Government to hold talks with the EU on ways to ease further checks which are set to come into force later this year.

Dover’s Traffic Access Protocol (TAP) – which involves using the A20 as an overflow facility for port-bound traffic – has been used on 10 of the last 21 days.

It is feared the delays will get worse at the end of September when the European Union’s new Entry/Exit System (EES) comes into effect.

This will require passengers from non-EU countries to carry out biometric checks at the border.

Huge 15km lorry queues at Dover blamed on Brexit
© Provided by Metro Lorry queues on the A20 for the Port of Dover in Kent on Tuesday January 11 (Picture: PA)
Huge 15km lorry queues at Dover blamed on Brexit
© Provided by Metro Drivers say it is taking 15-20 minutes to check in at the Port of Dover (Picture: PA)
Huge 15km lorry queues at Dover blamed on Brexit
© Provided by Metro There are fears the queues will get worse when new rules for non-EU passengers are brought in (Picture: Getty Images Europe)

Logistics UK warned at the end of last year that this could lead to 27km tailbacks.

Doug Bannister, the chief executive of the Port of Dover, said he was ‘worried’.

He told ITV: ‘It works great at airports, where you have single passengers presenting themselves one at a time in an orderly fashion in a nice well-lit hall.

‘Where it doesn’t work here, is there is no process, no technology, no design for a car-load of passengers transiting a busy ferry terminal on a dark stormy night. It just doesn’t not exist.’

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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