Rail strikes set to add to weekend road misery – as Franco-British task force tackles Dover chaos | UK News
A Franco-British task force is to tackle travel chaos in the English Channel after gridlocked traffic caused hours of gridlock last weekend – with rail strikes on Saturday and holiday traffic set to add to the misery.
The AA was obliged to issue an “orange” traffic warning for this weekend – the first time the association has done so in advance.
Roads to the Port of Dover and the Eurotunnel terminal in Folkestone were not too badly affected by traffic on Friday, but some of the UK’s main roads are expected to be under pressure from Saturday due to the disruption of services railways due to a train drivers’ strike. .
Members of the Aslef drivers’ union of seven rail operators will be on strike for 24 hours in addition to their wages. It will affect services run by Arriva Rail London, Greater Anglia, Great Western, Hull Trains, LNER, Southeastern and West Midlands Trains.
Roads approaching Dover and the Eurotunnel terminal in Folkestone are expected to become busier, as well as those serving Devon and Cornwall, such as the M5, A303 and A30.
The M42 east of Birmingham, the M60 and M62 in Manchester have already become hotspots, as well as the A64 towards York.
The south west and west sections of the M25, the Bristol M4/M5 junction and the M6, M42, M1 and M62 are also vulnerable to traffic jams this weekend.
The good news
However, a glimmer of good news came with the UK Border Force and French border police announcing measures to “maximize passenger flows” at checkpoints on either side of the Channel this weekend.
In a joint statement, Border Police Deputy Director General Brigitte Lafourcade and UK Border Force Director General Phil Douglas added: “France and the UK have worked closely together over the past few days to prepare the management of our common border through the current period of increased passenger traffic.
“France and the UK will continue to work together intensively to support the smooth flow of freight and passengers across the Channel during the summer period and beyond.”
The port expects to handle around 140,000 passengers, 45,000 cars and 18,000 freight vehicles between Thursday and Sunday.
The new task force, known as the Passenger Task Force, has been set up to try to minimize waiting times and avoid further disruption for people traveling across the border .
It plans to meet weekly throughout the summer to avoid a rehearsal of the scenes last Saturdaywhen families said they were stranded at the Port of Dover until 11 a.m. due to heavy congestion.
A row ensues over who is to blame for the huge traffic jams piling up both at Dover and at the entrance to the Eurotunnel in Folkestone, which has been dubbed the “holiday hell hotspot”.
Roads are expected to be ‘extremely busy’ across Britain due to a combination of factors including train strikes, the start of the English Football League season, the Commonwealth Games and the summer holidays. summer.
To ensure people can still get to the games in Birmingham easily, the government has said contingency measures are in place, including extra capacity on the rail lines (which are working) and the provision of coaches for the spectators.
Ministers said flight cancellations had also recently returned to 2019 levels after slot machine rules were relaxed to help airlines make sound decisions about their schedule.