Tourists driving to Europe through Dover face travel chaos unless deal is made over border rules, warns port boss

Currently tourists can easily show their passports through their windows allowing traffic to continually move but if no deal is reached every driver and passenger will need to leave their vehicle to show their passports to border security.

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Tourists who drive to the EU face huge disruption at Dover unless a deal is reached with the EU over new border rules coming into force this year.

Port of Dover boss, Doug Bannister, warned of potentially 'significant' tailbacks for tourists and lorry drivers when the new rules come into force in October.

Bannister urged ministers to seek a deal with Brussels which could make the checks less intrusive.

Last week a huge line of HGVs forming lengthy lorry queues in the first few weeks of 2022.

Lorry queues at the entrance to the Port of Dover in Kent
Lorry queues at the entrance to the Port of Dover in Kent

The situation is set to get worse in the coming weeks. This is because the new system will require biometric checks, meaning every passenger having to exit their vehicle for check, no matter the vehicle. This would mean it would take more time to make the crossing taking much longer for cars and lorries.

Currently tourists can easily show their passports to border guards through their windows allowing traffic to continually move.

Mr Bannister told the Daily Mail: 'We have nine months to design a process to identify and implement technology and come up with a regulation that works, and invest in any infrastructure and other investments that we need to.

'It feels a very short period of time to get that all done.

'It probably could get done, but what needs to unlock is the UK government speaking directly with French counterparts and wider in the European Union about how we're going to create a solution for this.'

Drivers have labelled the situation 'absolute carnage' with officials putting it down to a spike in freight traffic which often happens after Christmas.

The Dover Traffic Assessment Project was put in place by National Highways which enforces a 40mph speed limit and means lorry drivers must stay in the left lane.