Lorries start to move on M20 as Calais ferry services resume

Following the limitation of the industrial action by French ferry workers , which came into effect at the Port of Calais on Monday, lorries held on the M20 are starting to move.  However, there are still concerns that the dispute could escalate again causing further chaos.

Port of Dover is continuing to liaise with Kent Police and Highways England as Operation Stack remains in place.  All freight traffic heading for the Port of Dover must join the queue that is holding traffic between junctions 8 and 11.  The backlog may continue past the weekend.

The Ports and Shipping Minister, Robert Goodwill MP, travelled through Kent to the Port of Dover to witness first hand the scale of the disruption.  During his time at the port he visited its Emergency Co-ordination Centre and Terminal Control and met with some of the port’s stakeholders including P&O Ferries and DFDS Seaways.

P&O is running a full service between Dover and Calais while DFDS Seaways is operating a full service to Dunkerque, with an additional vessel diverted to help accommodate heavy traffic.

During the hot weather Freight Transport Association (FTA) members have been supplying stranded drivers on the M20 with bottled water.

David Wells, FTA’s chief executive, said: “We knew our members would want to help fellow truckers who have been stranded for hours in unbearable heat without food or water.  The lack of facilities is appalling for those who have been stuck on the M20 on the hottest day for a decade.”

Meanwhile, Richard Burnett, chief executive of the Road Haulage Association (RHA), travelled to Calais on Tuesday to see for himself the appalling conditions facing stranded UK hauliers.  He confirmed that “the scale of the current situation has to be seen to be believed.”

Also on the political front, David Cameron has discussed the ongoing situation with President Hollande while the Home Secretary, Theresa May, met her counterpart Bernard Cazenauve.