Coaches delayed for over six hours at Calais crossing

Coaches have been delayed for up to six hours 30 minutes at the Port of Calais today (18 February).

Among the coaches experiencing issues were those carrying staff and children on half-term school trips.

The disruption comes as UK Border Force staff strike this weekend (17 to 20 February 2023).

In a tweet, P&O Ferries warned: “There are limited toilet facilities, we recommend stopping en route. Please come prepared with refreshments to make your wait more comfortable.”

At around 8.30pm, ferry operator DFDS tweeted: “There is currently a wait time of approximately five hours for coaches to complete all checks at port due to a high volume of traffic travelling this weekend. Please make sure you have adequate refreshments/supplies & use facilities before arriving for a more comfortable wait.”

One person tweeted in response to a P&O Ferries update on Twitter: “Can the hundreds of poor school children stuck in these strikes not get access to food and drinks? My son has been on a coach overnight and had not eaten since yesterday.”

Another concerned parent tweeted: “Once through six hour 30 minute wait for coaches how long until they get on a ferry? My son says there are 100 coaches in front of theirs and only ten get on each ferry.”

According to updates on social media by DFDS, it was not until almost 10pm that waits for coaches began to fall to less than an hour.

The UK government says it has undertaken extensive planning to minimise the disruption ahead of the strike, training military personnel, civil servants and volunteers from across government to step in.

The strikes are due to end on Monday (20 February) around 7am.

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