Chaos at Dover has seen holiday-goers facing six-hour queues to get through border checks at the port, with one football team’s trip to Amsterdam cancelled after they had to wait an astonishing 14 hours at the port.
and passengers hoping to get away for their Easter break will face a few more hours waiting to be processed at border controls and then get on a ferry.
Ferries told coach drivers to head straight to the port to join the buffer zone queues, where advance passenger information (API) will be taken, but said .
Some had to cancel their holidays altogether due to the mayhem, with a coach carrying a football team having to abandon the trip after the driver reached the maximum time limit at the wheel.
After 12 hours stuck in the vehicle, the.
Poor weather, and a surge in coach bookings at the start of the Easter break has left some holidaymakers beginning their trips abroad in the worst possible fashion.
Schoolchildren sit next to their coach after it was stopped in a holding pen at the Port of Dover on Sunday, April 2
Additional ferry services were put on overnight in a bid to clear the backlog, but , coaches still face a 10-hour wait on Sunday.
Yesterday one parent hit out at the and only given ‘a KitKat at midnight’ for food as they tried to get through customs.
One father said he was forced to walk for 45 minutes from the port to the town of Dover in a bid to get food for his family and that people are struggling to find free drinking water.
Ferry operators P&O and DFDS first reported disruption to their services on Friday night, with the latter saying strong winds were adding to the problem.
By Saturday evening P&O Ferries said there were waits of up to 10 hours – five to reach the cruise terminal, and another five in a holding zone for coaches.
It said it was putting on additional crossings overnight to help clear the backlog, but as of Sunday afternoon coaches were still left waiting for more than 10 hours, according to the firm.
On Twitter P&O Ferries wrote: ‘Coaches arriving at Cruise Terminal 1 have an approx. wait of 4 hours during which API will be completed, you will then be called down to join the buffer zone at the Port of Dover where there is a further 6+ hour wait.’
This will come as little comfort for people on coaches trying to cross the Channel to Europe, many of who are schoolchildren going on trips abroad.
One coachload of schoolchildren were left starving after being stuck at the port for more than 15 hours and only being given a KitKat at midnight for food, according to parents.
Gillian Charlton, 43, said her son Ned, 13, and his friends have been in a holding area since arriving at the Kent port at around 7.30pm last night
The students set off for their ski trip at 9.30am Saturday morning from Chorley, Lancashire, and had been expecting to catch an overnight ferry before continuing their journey by coach to Pila, Aosta Valley, Italy.
But mum Gillian said they waited for 14 hours before being moved up to passport control and have now been waiting for a further two hours – with no sign of movement.
Gillian Charlton (pictured) said she was ‘fuming’ after her son Ned was stuck in a queue for more than 15 hours at the port
Coach passengers step off their vehicles as they wait to get onto their ferries to France on Sunday, April 2
The delays have been caused by poor weather and delays at border control, the port says. Pictured: Coaches lining up at border control on Sunday, April 2
She said the children are only allowed to get off to use a portaloo and were given one KitKat at midnight.
Gillian, a social care worker, from Chorley, Lancashire, said: ‘It’s shambolic.
‘I don’t think they have access to running water and can’t get off – only to use the portaloo.
‘They were given a KitKat at midnight. Children are feeling unsafe. They are all starving.’
Gillian said her son Ned had been really looking forward to the ski trip and the family had been saving up to make sure he could go.
She said there are hundreds of coaches behind her son’s coach but cars are ‘flying through’.
Gillian said: ‘I’m disgusted. My son said there are hundred coaches behind them – and I think it’s mainly school kids.
‘I sent him off with food for the day and they had breakfast vouchers to get food in France in the morning.
‘I’m fuming. The fact that it’s mainly school children penned in.
‘They should have restricted the bookings. They know how many people turn up at the ports. I’m so worried.’
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