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Thousands of drivers traveling to Europe are delayed ten hours in Dover during security checks


Thousands of angry motorists face 10 hours of delays and 9 miles of queues as police conduct extensive spot checks on a major security operation in the port of Dover – but refuse to reveal why.

Trucks attempting to gain access to Dover docks in southern England have been stalled after Kent Police officers checked every vehicle in Operation Stack, a Forces spokesman said.

The Channel Tunnel at Folkestone was also brought to a standstill, which had to convert the coastal M20 between Junctions 8 and 9 into a truck park for freight vehicles queuing for the port.

Operation Stack, which is usually activated to prevent traffic from flowing to the Channel Tunnel and Dove Harbor, was conducted by police at 11 a.m. today and resigned at 12 p.m.

Kent Police have refused to say why they were sampling, despite a spokesman describing the operation as "sensitive" and confirming that it was unrelated to a traffic accident that occurred yesterday.

The press secretary added: “A police operation involving vehicle and passenger controls in the ports of Kent has been terminated. Border controls are now returning to normal. & # 39;

"The police operations have stopped and border controls are returning to normal."

The A2 Jubilee Way heading for the coast on the A20 (Eastern Docks Roundabout) is stationary and the turnoff for Shepherdswell is nine miles away. Traffic on the A256 from Whitfield to Dover is also very slow as motorists try to avoid problems elsewhere.

Thousands of angry motorists in the port of Dover face 10 hours of delays and 9 miles of queues as police conduct extensive spot checks on a major security operation on the M20 – but refuse to reveal why

Thousands of angry motorists in the port of Dover face 10 hours delays and 9 miles of queues as police conduct extensive spot checks on a major security operation on the M20 - but they refuse to reveal the reason

Thousands of angry motorists in the port of Dover face 10 hours delays and 9 miles of queues as police conduct extensive spot checks on a major security operation on the M20 – but they refuse to reveal the reason

Thousands of angry motorists in the port of Dover face 10 hours delays and 9 miles of queues as police conduct extensive spot checks on a major security operation on the M20 - but they refuse to reveal the reason

Thousands of angry motorists at Dover port face 10 hours of delays and 9 miles of queues as police conduct extensive spot checks on a major security operation on the M20 – but refuse to reveal why

Thousands of angry motorists in the port of Dover face 10 hours of delays and 9 miles of queues as police conduct extensive spot checks on a major security operation on the M20 - but they refuse to reveal the reason

Thousands of angry motorists in the port of Dover face 10 hours delays and 9 miles of queues as police conduct extensive spot checks on a major security operation on the M20 – but they refuse to reveal the reason

Thousands of angry motorists in the port of Dover face 10 hours of delays and 9 miles of queues as police conduct extensive spot checks on a major security operation on the M20 - but they refuse to reveal the reason

Thousands of angry motorists in the port of Dover face 10 hours delays and 9 miles of queues as police conduct extensive spot checks on a major security operation on the M20 – but they refuse to reveal the reason

Thousands of angry motorists in the port of Dover face 10 hours of delays and 9 miles of queues as police conduct extensive spot checks on a major security operation on the M20 - but they refuse to reveal the reason

Thousands of angry motorists in the port of Dover face 10 hours of delays and 9 miles of queues as police conduct extensive spot checks on a major security operation on the M20 – but they refuse to reveal the reason

Thousands of angry motorists in the port of Dover face 10 hours delays and 9 miles of queues as police conduct extensive spot checks on a major security operation on the M20 - but they refuse to reveal the reason

Thousands of angry motorists in the port of Dover face 10 hours delays and 9 miles of queues as police conduct extensive spot checks on a major security operation on the M20 – but they refuse to reveal the reason

Thousands of angry motorists in the port of Dover face 10 hours of delays and 9 miles of queues as police conduct extensive spot checks on a major security operation on the M20 - but refuse to reveal why

Thousands of angry motorists in the port of Dover face 10 hours delays and 9 miles of queues as police conduct extensive spot checks on a major security operation on the M20 – but they refuse to reveal the reason

In a statement posted on its website, the Port of Dover said: “As of September 15, 2020, Kent Police have been screening all vehicles and passengers as part of a major operation in Kent and on all short strait routes.

& # 39; Port of Dover received notification that Operation Stack (Level 1) has been implemented on the M20 between J8 and J9 Coastbound. We work with our ferry partners to keep traffic moving and we apologize for any inconvenience this may cause our customers and the local community. & # 39;

WHAT IS OPERATION STACK?

Operation Stack is a procedure used by Kent Police and the Port of Dover to park (or stack) trucks on the M20 motorway in Kent when they are traveling across the English Channel, for example through the Channel Tunnel or from the Port of Dover. are disturbed.

Operation Stack is administered by Kent Police using the powers under the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 and coordinated by a multi-agency group called Operation Fennel.

According to Damian Green MP, the system was implemented 74 times in the 20 years from its inception to 2007.

Operation Stack is typically implemented whenever there is an urgent need to cut off traffic to the Channel Tunnel and the Port of Dover, which handle 90 percent of freight traffic between the UK and Europe.

There are officially only 550 truck parking spots in Kent. So if access to cross-channel services is restricted, the congestion would quickly spread across the county.

The most common causes of Operation Stack are thunderstorms that either cancel or restrict ferry service, industrial action in the French ports of Calais, Dunkirk and Boulogne, and power outages in the Channel Tunnel.

Ferry operator P&O Ferries also said: “Due to a special operation, the Kent Police are currently checking all cargo and tourist vehicles. As a result, the traffic in and around Dover is very heavy and causes exceptional delays.

They added: “At the port, the buffer zone is currently full and Dover TAP is in place. Check-in is clear and you will be put on the first available sail. & # 39;

The increased security was introduced yesterday at around 7 a.m., the police said. But the overload continued for the rest of the day and until last night until this morning.

Ferry operator DFDS advised customers "to allow extra time to complete the check-in process" and to board the next intersection if they miss their assigned seat due to traffic.

The Port of Dover tweeted: & # 39; The situation in the port currently remains. The Dover area has heavy traffic with queues on the A20 and A2 routes into the city. Please allow additional travel time for your trip. & # 39;

Huge delays were introduced on Tuesday when Dover TAP, a traffic management system that queues cargo in the left lane of the A20 to keep local city traffic going, was introduced.

Once the A20 is full, the trucks will have to wait between Junctions 8 and 9 of the M20 near Ashford.

One lane is closed on the A20 between the B2011 (Court Wood Interchange, Capel Le Ferne) and Dover (Western Heights roundabout, Dover) and Junction 11 (Hythe) of the M20 is congested.

The left lane is for trucks that only go to the port. All other road users should use the right lane.

The M20 coastal lane is closed and traffic is due to Operation Stack from Junction 8 (A20 Ashford Road for Leeds Castle / Maidstone Services) to the junction (A20 Fougeres Way Ashford). Junction 7 (A249 Detling Hill) is overloaded.

But resident Kate Leech tweeted: & # 39; It (Dover Tap) doesn't work! The whole city is bogged down, as are the surrounding villages with passing trucks. Children can't even go to school. It's a disaster. & # 39;

Local resident Abi Sale reported having heard "many sirens" shortly before 11.30 a.m.

She tweeted: “Heavy traffic across the Dover area for two days as security checks at Port_of_Dover have increased and now there are lots of sirens. Hope everyone is fine. The authorities are not telling us why at the moment. & # 39;

Thousands of angry motorists in the port of Dover face 10 hours delays and 9 miles of queues as police conduct extensive spot checks on a major security operation on the M20 - but they refuse to reveal the reason

Thousands of angry motorists in the port of Dover face 10 hours of delays and 9 miles of queues as police conduct extensive spot checks on a major security operation on the M20 – but they refuse to reveal the reason

Thousands of angry motorists in the port of Dover face 10 hours of delays and 9 miles of queues as police conduct extensive spot checks on a major security operation on the M20 - but they refuse to reveal the reason

Thousands of angry motorists in the port of Dover face 10 hours of delays and 9 miles of queues as police conduct extensive spot checks on a major security operation on the M20 – but they refuse to reveal the reason

Thousands of angry motorists in the port of Dover face 10 hours of delays and 9 miles of queues as police conduct extensive spot checks on a major security operation on the M20 - but refuse to reveal why

Thousands of angry motorists at Dover port face 10 hours of delays and 9 miles of queues as police conduct extensive spot checks on a major security operation on the M20 – but refuse to reveal why

Thousands of angry motorists at Dover port face 10 hours of delays and 9 miles of queues as police conduct extensive spot checks on a major security operation on the M20 - but refuse to reveal why

Thousands of angry motorists in the port of Dover face 10 hours of delays and 9 miles of queues as police conduct extensive spot checks on a major security operation on the M20 – but refuse to reveal why

Thousands of angry motorists in the port of Dover face 10 hours delays and 9 miles of queues as police conduct extensive spot checks on a major security operation on the M20 - but they refuse to reveal the reason

Thousands of angry motorists in the port of Dover face 10 hours of delays and 9 miles of queues as police conduct extensive spot checks on a major security operation on the M20 – but they refuse to reveal the reason

A truck trying to avoid stalling managed to pull down overhead cables and two large conifers as they drove on the back roads of the village of Shepherdswell near Dover.

UK-based courier company Freight Logistics Solutions said some of their drivers crawling towards the coast to Dover reported delays of more than 10 hours.

They tweeted: & # 39; HEADS UP – cargo chaos on the roads this morning – huge delays in the construction of the Port of Dover and Eurotunnel. Increased security and border controls in the tunnel, Dover TAP traffic scheme has building queues of more than nine miles. We have a couple of drivers in the Q saying 10 hours late! & # 39;

Operation Stack is slated to be replaced by Operation Brock, the government-planned traffic management system in Kent to be used in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

Thousands of angry motorists in the port of Dover face 10 hours of delays and 9 miles of queues as police conduct extensive spot checks on a major security operation on the M20 - but refuse to reveal why

Thousands of angry motorists at Dover port face 10 hours of delays and 9 miles of queues as police conduct extensive spot checks on a major security operation on the M20 – but refuse to reveal why

Thousands of angry motorists in the port of Dover face 10 hours of delays and 9 miles of queues as police conduct extensive spot checks on a major security operation on the M20 - but refuse to reveal why

Thousands of angry motorists in the port of Dover face 10 hours of delays and 9 miles of queues as police conduct extensive spot checks on a major security operation on the M20 – but they refuse to reveal the reason

Thousands of angry motorists at Dover port face 10 hours of delays and 9 miles of queues as police conduct extensive spot checks on a major security operation on the M20 - but refuse to reveal why

Thousands of angry motorists in the port of Dover face 10 hours of delays and 9 miles of queues as police conduct extensive spot checks on a major security operation on the M20 – but they refuse to reveal why

Thousands of angry motorists at Dover port face 10 hours of delays and 9 miles of queues as police conduct extensive spot checks on a major security operation on the M20 - but refuse to reveal why

Thousands of angry motorists in the port of Dover face 10 hours delays and 9 miles of queues as police conduct extensive spot checks on a major security operation on the M20 – but they refuse to reveal the reason

Thousands of angry motorists in the port of Dover face 10 hours of delays and 9 miles of queues as police conduct extensive spot checks on a major security operation on the M20 - but they refuse to reveal why

Thousands of angry motorists in the port of Dover face 10 hours of delays and 9 miles of queues as police conduct extensive spot checks on a major security operation on the M20 – but they refuse to reveal why

The Ministry of Transport (DfT) is now preparing to reinstall Operation Brock at the end of the year, ready for the end of the Brexit transition period in December.

This time around, however, there will be a key difference that could give drivers hope, reports Kent Online.

Movable concrete blocks are used in place of the metal barrier. This would mean that the installation and removal would take "several hours" rather than "a month of night closings".

Highways England plans to set up a special zipper machine so that the movable barrier can be deployed quickly. The concrete blocks for the barrier are kept on the side of the hard shoulder until use.

The government says this new system will be ready by December 2020 and will "significantly reduce the disruption caused by the deployment". It was also confirmed that the measures are available for long-term traffic management plans and not just a response to a cross-channel disruption caused by Brexit.

It added, "That will hold around 2,000 trucks – the same capacity as the previous countercurrent."

*** Are you stuck in a traffic jam? Let us know what happens – send an email to jack.wright@mailonline.co.uk***

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