Published On: Tue, Mar 26th, 2024
Travel | 2,201 views

UK Easter traffic chaos warning as France’s heightened security alert to cause huge delays | UK | News

Brits could be in for severe border delays this Easter weekend as France tightens its security following the Moscow attack on March 22. The Port of Dover in Kent confirmed it has heightened its security for those entering France via ferries to Calais, prompting more thorough checks.

A statement read: “France has heightened its border security checks following the attack in Moscow on Sunday. These measures may increase border processing times here at the Port.

“Please be mindful of this when travelling to the port and check with your ferry operator for arrival times. Thank you for your cooperation.”

It comes as the death toll rose to over 130 people this weekend in Russia‘s capital after The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for an attack at Crocus City Hall in Moscow on Friday, March 22. The brutal attack saw four men storm into a live gig by Soviet-era rock band Picnic killing 137 in total and injuring 182 more.

French president Emmanuel Macron upped France’s security threat level after this incident, which in turn will affect cross-Channel traffic and roads leading to key ports.

Drivers heading to Dover over the coming days have been urged to check the Port’s social media feed for regular updates ahead of travelling. It’s thought thousands will be heading to France for the long Easter weekend this Friday, with delays already likely.

Juxtaposed border controls mean French officials check passports at the Port of Dover before people board cross-Channel ferries.
Around 20,000 cars are expected to travel through the port between Thursday and Easter Monday, with the busiest days likely to be Good Friday, Easter Saturday and Easter Sunday.

The RAC said journeys on some popular routes could take twice as long as normal as the bank holiday weekend coincides with the start of a two-week holiday for many schools, leading to a surge in traffic.

Transport analysis company Inrix predicted that the worst congestion on Thursday will be between 2pm and 7pm as people on leisure journeys compete for road space with regular commuters.

The busiest route is expected to be the western section of the M25 between the M23 for Gatwick and the M1 for Hertfordshire.
Journeys on this stretch from 4pm are expected to take over two hours, which is more than twice as long as usual.

National Highways announced it will lift more than 850 miles of roadworks by 6am on Thursday and they will not be put back until April 2. Andy Butterfield, customer services director at the Government-owned company, said: “This is the first bank holiday of the year, so we expect the roads to be busy with people looking to make the most of a long weekend.

“We are doing what we can to make journeys easier by removing miles of roadworks, but I would encourage everyone to take some time, plan ahead and ensure your vehicle is prepared for what might be a long journey.”

Network Rail is urging train passengers to check their journey details before they travel as some major routes will be closed due to engineering work.

The West Coast Main Line between London Euston and Milton Keynes will be shut for four days from Good Friday.
There will also be disruption in the areas around Glasgow and Huddersfield.

Network Rail’s network strategy director Laurence Bowman said: “There’s never a good time to do the work we need to do but the four days of the bank holiday, when fewer people are travelling, give us the opportunity to do major work we couldn’t do on a normal weekend.”

Tourist board VisitEngland said around 11 million people in the UK are planning an overnight Easter trip, generating an estimated £3.2 billion boost to the economy.

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