Traffic held up at Port of Dover as France strengthens security checks
Motorists were stuck in traffic jams heading into the port.
Holidaymakers are facing hours of delays at the port of Dover due to heightened French security checks.
As the Easter bank holiday weekend getaway began, P&O Ferries warned of two-hour hold-ups in the early hours of Friday morning.
Highways England said there were queues on the A20 and A2 heading into the port, and urged people to plan ahead before travelling.
There are delays this morning on the A20 and A2 tourist routes towards the Port of Dover due to enhanced French border controls.— Highways England (@HighwaysSEAST) March 29, 2018
If heading towards Dover + the port please plan ahead before travelling. Please check your ferry operator for the latest info. https://t.co/PXyD3nUqZB
Ferries were being held open for as long as possible to get people on board.
It comes as the Easter weekend looks set to be one of the busiest in years for travellers.
The Association of British Travel Agents (Abta) has estimated that 2.1 million British holidaymakers will head abroad.
We are sorry to say that the queues at French Border Control are still taking 2 hours followed by 20-30 minutes at check-in. The next sailing is the 01:00 due to leave at 01:20, followed by the 02:05 due to leave at 02:30— P&O Ferries Updates (@POferriesupdate) March 29, 2018
Train stations, roads and airports in the UK are also expected to be extremely busy.
The RAC said drivers were expected to take nearly 19 million separate leisure journeys over Easter, with hot spots set to include the M25 between Gatwick Airport and the M1, the M3 south west of London, the A303 near Stonehenge, the M55 between Preston and Blackpool, and the M53 between Liverpool and Chester.
At the major airports, half a million people will fly out from Heathrow, 260,000 from Gatwick and 160,000 from Manchester.
Heading abroad for the Easter bank holiday? ABTA estimates 2.1 million holidaymakers are heading overseas so make sure you leave plenty of time getting to the airport. https://t.co/0Bgxh3AAuS— ABTA (@ABTAtravel) March 29, 2018
The Eurostar service from St Pancras will take 70,000 passengers under the Channel and into mainland Europe this weekend, with many headed to the French capital Paris.
In July 2016, hundreds of motorists heading off on their summer holidays were stranded in 12-hour traffic jams at the Port of Dover, with delays blamed on staff shortages at the French border as well as enhanced security controls.