The Port of Dover suffered more delays today, with a long line of lorries seen queuing on the method, after Storm Bella required Channel crossings to be stopped overnight.
After days of disturbance following France’s choice to shut its border with the UK, the port suffered another problem overnight when freight ferry services needed to be cancelled due to high winds and rough sea conditions.
It comes as workers continue to try to clear a stockpile of trucks today, with long lines of lorries still on the M20 in Kent this afternoon.
Much of the stockpile has actually already been cleared, with Manston Airport now empty after a gruelling Covid testing drive over Christmas.
However with more than 15,000 tests carried out up till Boxing Day, and just 36 favorable cases, Transportation Secretary Grant Shapps has actually now called for France to end its testing needs.
France closed the border with the UK recently after a new mutant strain of Covid-19 was identified in the south east. It agreed to open the border again for motorists who check unfavorable for Covid before they leave.
However talking to Sky News, the Transport Secretary has struck out at the decision to close the border, calling it ‘rather unneeded’.
Lines of lorries were today seen on the M20 in Kent as interruption continues today, in spite of the best efforts of officials attempting to clear the logjam. Imagined: Lorries queue at the Port of Dover today
The hold-ups came as trucks were seen queuing on the M20 today as part of Operation Stack. Envisioned: Lorries queue at the Port of Dover today
Mr Shapps stated 15,000 lorry motorists had been evaluated for coronavirus by midday on Boxing Day, and the backlog at the testing website at Manston Airport had cleared. Envisioned: Lorries queue on the M20 in Kent today
The Port of Dover suffered more hold-ups today, with a long line of trucks seen queuing on the technique, after Storm Bella forced Channel crossings to be stopped overnight. Visualized: Trucks queue on the M20 today as part of Operation Stack
Freight ferry services needed to be cancelled due to high winds and rough seas due to Storm Bella Envisioned: Rough seas at Dover today amid Storm Bella.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has actually now called for France to end its screening demands. He struck out at France’s choice to close the border, calling it ‘rather unnecessary’
He said: ‘It was extremely bothersome for everyone and implied a lot of people missed their Christmases.
‘ I think that the entire thing has been rather unneeded. I don’t believe there was a great reason to close the border for more than two days.’
On testing, he included: ‘We know that the EU Commission has stated they do not support this testing at borders for hauliers for one basic reason … [truck motorists] have a much lower chance of having coronavirus than those in the rest of the population.’
Last night freight ferry services were cancelled after Storm Bella damaged the south of England with heavy rain and 70mph gusts.
P&O services were delayed by as much as 50 minutes today as employees battled to reduce hold-ups. Solutions have since gone back to normal.
The delays came as lorries were seen queuing on the M20 today as part of Operation Stack.
The emergency situation itinerary, which eventually saw countless trucks parked up on the M20, was put into location after France enforced its travel ban from the UK.
Operation Brock, the UK’s emergency situation travel plan for a No Offer Brexit, was also activated and saw thousands more lorries sent to Manston Airport in Kent.
But the 4,000 trucks have actually considering that been cleared from Manston. Last night, there were still 1,600 motorists waiting to cross The Channel after spending Christmas Day separated from their households in their taxis.
On Christmas Day, 1,100 military workers were prepared in to assist clear the logjams.
The Polish army arrived to aid British armed forces with the testing, regardless of all lorries being cleared from Operation Brock.
The emergency situation travel plan, which ultimately saw thousands of trucks parked up on the M20, was put into location after France enforced its travel ban from the UK. Imagined: Lorries queue at the Port of Dover today
On Christmas Day, 1,100 military personnel were drafted in to help clear the logjams. The Polish army got here to aid British militaries with the testing, despite all trucks being cleared from Operation Brock. Pictured: Lorries queue at the Port of Dover today
However with a big backlog of lorries, and despite port personnel working over Christmas to clear the trucks, countless hauliers were forced to spend Christmas Day in their cabs and away from their families
More than 8,000 HGVs have actually passed over the border through the port or through Eurotunnel because Wednesday when the border reopened, the DfT said. Envisioned: A chauffeur is checked as lorries queue at the Port of Dover today
Ferryboat services throughout the Channel from Dover today suffered a setback due to high winds caused by Storm Bella
Drivers are required to show a negative Covid test (visualized left) taken within 72 hours of leaving for France. Drivers are being checked at the Port of Dover today (envisioned right), though authorities are recommending drivers to take a test before concerning the port
A motorist turn over a drink as trucks queue on the M20 freeway as part of Operation Stack following the border block by France
Mr Shapps stated 15,000 truck chauffeurs had been evaluated for coronavirus by midday on Boxing Day, and the stockpile at the testing website at Manston Airport had cleared.
More than 8,000 HGVs have passed over the border by means of the port or through Eurotunnel considering that Wednesday when the border reopened, the DfT said.
The havoc began after France introduced a 48-hour travel restriction last Sunday following the discovery of a fast-spreading mutant pressure in the UK.
The relocation left thousands of European truck motorists were left stranded in Kent as UK and French officials tried to thrash out an offer to reopen the borders.
Both concurred the borders could resume if motorists were checked before they left the UK.
However a row over testing emerged with the UK preferring lateral circulation tests – which can provide lead to thirty minutes – while France required slower PCR tests – which can use up to thirty days to produce a result.
France ultimately caved in, following pressure from the EU to reopen the border, and a mass testing drive began, including NHS personnel, the Armed Forces, and a group of 26 French firefighters.
However with a huge backlog of lorries, and in spite of port staff working over Christmas to clear the trucks, countless hauliers were required to invest Christmas Day in their taxis and away from their households.
Motorists still have to check unfavorable within 72 hours of leaving the UK to France in order to take a trip. Drivers are currently encouraged to take a test prior to coming to the port in order to avoid hold-ups.
Operation unstack! Dramatic image reveals how 8,000 stranded truck motorists are lastly on their way home after ‘extraordinary’ soldiers sacrificed time with their own families to perform Covid tests
By Abul Taher for the Daily Mail
British Army soldiers concerned the rescue of countless weary truckers this Christmas as stranded chauffeurs finally started to head house after days of being stuck in their cabs on a Kent airfield.
The soldiers sacrificed their own time with their families and enjoyed ones to help more than 8,000 chauffeurs get their automobiles on to ferries heading back to Europe.
As these images show, the substantial lines at Manston airfield on Christmas Day, right, were cleared by Boxing Day, far right, as soldiers processed the trucks that ended up being caught after France suddenly closed its borders recently
Last night, several mad truckers blamed French President Emmanuel Macron for the delays, with one implicating him of ‘dirty politics’. The French government closed the border between Dover and Calais last Sunday after a new mutant strain of the coronavirus was discovered in London and the South East, feared to be 70 per cent more contagious.
After pressure from the UK, French ministers lastly accepted let truckers leave for Calais supplied that they evaluated unfavorable for the infection.
These images show, the big lines at Manston Airport (left) are nearly clear right), as soldiers missed out on household time to process more than 8,000 lorries that ended up being trapped after France suddenly closed its borders last week.
More than 1,100 soldiers signed up with civilian personnel, French firefighters and the Polish armed force’s Territorial Defence Force to establish a screening system for the infection on Friday.
By last night, some 15,526 tests had actually been carried out on hauliers and more than 8,000 HGVs had actually passed over the border. Half of those trucks left after being processed on Christmas Day. Nevertheless, numerous hauliers were furious that they failed to make it back house in time for Christmas, and accused Mr Macron of utilizing the news of a brand-new Covid pressure as a political stunt as Brexit trade talks went into the final hours.
Mikhal Dometoro, 25, from Bucharest, Romania, had been in the UK for the previous 3 days with his girlfriend, Alexandra, 25, who is likewise a trucker. The couple, who share the driving, had actually travelled to Hereford to drop strawberries at a depot.
He told The Mail on Sunday: ‘The Army is excellent, they are excellent individuals. They dealt with Christmas Day also, I am really pleased. It’s Macron, it’s unclean politics. I do not like politics.’
Sauleus Norbetto said he was from a small town called Venta in Lithuania. He had come to drop off chocolate and supermarket food in Manchester.
The 47-year-old, who waited in Kent for 4 days, stated: ‘It’s Macron’s fault. Because of the test, I am here, it’s all politics.
‘ I concern UK all the time. Never ever have I seen anything like this. I have actually been concerning the UK for twenty years.’
Soldiers compromised their own time with their families and loved ones to assist more than 8,000 motorists finally get their trucks on to ferries heading back to Europe
Manston airfield, about 20 miles from the Dover port, had actually become a spillover holding pen for countless HGVs parked on its 1.7mile-long runway on Christmas Day. By yesterday it was clear, although HGVs that had actually put off making the journey over the Christmas period were beginning to queue on the M20.
Craig Mackinlay, Conservative MP for South Thanet, Kent, said: ‘We have actually seen Britain at its best in managing and clearing the unforeseen crisis occurring from France’s precipitous closure of Channel paths.
‘ Credit needs to go to the Army who, as ever, stepped up to the emergency but likewise to local councils and Kent emergency situation services who have actually worked long hours throughout this holiday.’ Duncan Buchanan, policy director at the Road Haulage Association, stated ‘traffic is streaming’ at the Port of Dover but warned he anticipates more trucks to queue again within the coming days.
‘ Next week is a regular working week so I would expect the lorries to increase then too,’ he included. ‘It’s not over yet and we will see what happens next.
‘ I want to hand down a thank you to everybody who has actually helped take care of the motorists by giving them food– a great deal of people have done a great deal of hard work, and it’s truly excellent to see many individuals helping.’
Army troops pertained to the rescue of thousands of tired truckers this Christmas as the stranded drivers lastly began to head home after days of being stuck in their cabs on a Kent airfield
Volunteers, including individuals from close-by communities, the Salvation Army, Muslim group Al-Khair Structure, the Sikh neighborhood, HM Coastguard and Kent County Council, have been delivering thousands of warm meals and water to the chauffeurs.
Even British-based truckers who were on holiday, broke off their holiday to come to Kent to donate food to fellow hauliers.
Emil Klatt, 25, from Birmingham, got here in Kent in a van loaded with food and beverages, and was giving out tea, bread, cakes and even non-alcoholic beer to truckers.
He said: ‘It’s Boxing Day, but I saw the lines on the TELEVISION and believed to myself, I need to come here and help. I simply needed to do it.’
Nacor Hint, 30, a trucker from northern Spain was stranded in the UK for five days after dropping a consignment of veggies to a shop in main London.
He stated: ‘I was going to be back home for Christmas, but I was here. I had food, however there was no toilet or shower, so it is difficult.
‘ I have never ever seen queues like this in my entire life.
Even British-based truckers who were on holiday, broke off their vacation to come to Kent to donate food to fellow hauliers
‘ The Army were great, they were incredible. They did the test and they provided me two tubs of warm food, I believe it was turkey.’
Out of the 15,526 tests administered, simply 36 were favorable and those drivers are now in isolation for ten days at a Kent hotel. Natalie Elphicke, Tory MP for Dover, said: ‘The Armed Forces did a great task. They were critical in keeping Dover clear with their Covid screening and ensuring the circulation of traffic.
‘ However it has actually been a combined effort with the authorities and the national testing groups, that made sure that the queues ended.’
She added: ‘We were faced with the problem due to the unreasonable French behaviour in shutting down the border.
‘I hope the Armed Forces and others handle to keep Dover clear in the coming days as the border stays closed.’