Kent is seeing massive truck queues again, exacerbated by Christmas supplies and speculation about Brexit.
As freight drivers went to the Eurotunnel, a long line of trucks extended up to five miles on the M20.
The new delays have occurred in the U.K. Less than two weeks until 2021 and the completion of the transition phase for Brexit.
In order to prevent chaos across the Channel in January, in addition to the normal Christmas rush, businesses store supplies ahead of the new year.
The line on the left lane of the freeway extended for several kilometers to the entrance of the Eurotunnel in Folkestone on Saturday morning.
On the M20 between Capel-le-Ferne – the site of the Battle of Britain Memorial on the White Cliffs – and the Port of Dover, long queues of trucks also emerged.
An agreement between the United Kingdom and the EU has yet to be reached, leading to confusion among traders and concerns that up to 60% of companies in Kent are unprepared for Brexit without a contract.
At the border from Jan. 1, trucks without the proper paperwork could be turned away.
But on Friday, Port of Dover CEO Doug Bannister told the PA news agency that he was sure that Dover would be able to cope with any confusion.
“Dover has a proven track record of dealing with disruption well and successfully, and we’re able to manage the disruption and, more importantly, restore the position very quickly.”Dover has a proven record of dealing well and successfully with disruption, and we are able to manage the disruption and, more importantly, very quickly restore the position.
Mr. Bannister added that the rise in freight traffic before Dec. 31 means it will be quieter for the first weeks of 2021.
Deputy Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said that the queues at the Port of Holyhead were likely to be refilled.
The Tanaiste, however, cautioned about delays in ferry traffic between Ireland and the United Kingdom. Whether or not a trade agreement with the United Kingdom was possible was probable. And they have entered the EU.
“I think it’s likely that any delays at ports that are happening at the moment are to do with the build-up of stocks. A lot of companies are going to want to fill their warehouses before there is a deal or no deal, depending on how Brexit happens,” he said at a press conference after the meeting of the North-South Council of Ministers on Friday.
So we predicted that at this stage there would be some delays, mainly due to stockpiling and businesses having to fill their inventories cautiously.
As for the new year’s disturbances, we’re planning for that. There’s going to be some, there’ll be, of course. Fresh reviews, new inspections are going to happen. There will be delays, of course, and people will have to get used to new processes, and certain people will not have their paperwork filled out, and, yes, there will be challenges in the new year, of course, but we are doing what we can to minimize and alleviate them.