The UK government could have saved Dover travellers from huge queues – but didn’t

Queues: coaches waited for hours to board ferries while passengers queued for passport checks.

The UK’s Cabinet Office snubbed a £33 million proposal to double the capacity for French government passport checks at Dover – meaning it is responsible for the queues that have caused a critical incident there.

The French made the proposal back in 2020 – but the UK’s Tory government rejected it:

The money would have been used to double the number of French government passport booths from five to 10 in anticipation of more stringent requirements, including stamps in passports after January 1st, according to the Financial Times.

It came after the Port of Dover had repeatedly warned that it will need to substantially boost capacity for French controls, which under a reciprocal bilateral agreement enables passports to be checked before boarding the train or ferry to France in order to ease traffic flows.

Bumper-to-bumper traffic, in six-hour queues, made its way towards the Port of Dover on Friday – one of the busiest periods for foreign travel from the UK as most schools in England and Wales break up for summer.

When the Department for Transport was asked yesterday why it did not approve Dover’s bid for £33 million investment, an official said the department “did not comment on individual bids”.

So now we all know it’s the fault of the Tories.

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