Queues are building at the Port of Dover amid fears that the severe disruption seen in recent days could return to Kent throughout the summer.
Ferry operator DFDS told passengers that there were “queues of around an hour” for French border checks on Monday morning, and to “allow a minimum of 120 minutes before your departure to complete all controls”.
P&O Ferries wrote on Twitter: “The queues have picked up and it is taking approximately one hour to clear passport control.”
Passengers were forced to wait for several hours on Friday as bumper-to-bumper traffic stretching for miles marred the journeys of tens of thousands of families at the start of the school summer holidays.
This was blamed on a staffing shortage at French border control and a serious crash on the M20 motorway.
Toby Howe, senior highways manager at Kent County Council and tactical lead at Kent Resilience Forum, said the current queues at the Port of Dover were “normal for a Monday morning”.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that next weekend is likely to be “very busy”.
Mr Howe said: “It’s the second busiest getaway weekend of the summer holidays.
“As we’ve just found out the weekend just gone, traffic numbers travelling across the Channel were back to pre-pandemic levels and with the increased checks it is slower to get through, so it takes very little to cause those tailbacks.”
On what the rest of the summer could bring, he said: “Basically it’s a very vulnerable situation, it takes very little to cause further issues.”
Queues at the port of Dover over the weekend Gareth Fuller
Cars queue at the check-in at the Port of Dover in Kent Gareth Fuller