Lorries queue for 10 miles on OTHER side of the Channel

Lorries queue for 10 miles on OTHER side of the Channel as lorry drivers try to deliver essential goods before a January 1 no-deal Brexit

  • President of Hauts-de-France has said HGV numbers are up 50 percent at port
  • Normally, he said, there would be 6,000 trucks – but now its around 9,000
  • The delays are causing severe difficulties to businesses in the UK, such as IKEA
  • Border concerns increased this week after UK and EU edged towards no-deal 

Lorries are queuing for 10 miles on the other side of the Channel as lorry drivers try to deliver essential goods before an impending no-deal Brexit on January 1.

There have been 50 percent more heavy goods vehicles on the roads leading to the Channel crossing in the last three weeks, sources close to the president of the Hauts-de-France region, home to Calais, have said.

‘November and December are always busy months, but extreme stockpiling because businesses are trying to get goods into the UK before 1 January is the main cause,’ the source said, according to The Guardian.

Lorries queue along the A16 motorway to board ferries to reach England, near Calais, northern France, pictured on Wednesday. Some queues have been backing up for 10 miles

‘Normally we have about 6,000 trucks, but now it is about 9,000. It shows the extreme of the consequences of Brexit whether there is a deal or not. Trucks are having to slow down all along the A16 back to Dunkirk with delays of up to 17km.’

As a result of the delays in crossing the Channel, organisations in the UK are experiencing severe difficulties, while many scramble to stockpile goods ahead of the introduction of new regulatory checks being introduced – deal or no deal – as the UK leaves the single market.

It emerged on Friday that Ikea is facing a deluge of complaints because of what it said were ‘operational challenges’ as shipments of its furniture are being held up at over-capacity ports. 

Also, both Honda and Jaguar car manufacturers have been forced to stop production temporarily because of a shortage of parts being delivered.

According to Eurotunnel, delays on the British side of the Channel are expected to continue for the next three weeks. Its contingency plans are based on a no-deal Brexit scenario involving 7,000 lorries queuing in Kent.

Concerns over the border increased this week after Boris Johnson and Ursula von der Leyen – president of the European commission – said on Friday that they were unlikely to reach a post-Brexit trade deal by Sunday.

The president of the Hauts-de-France region, home to Calais, has reportedly said that there have been 50 percent more heavy goods vehicles on the roads leading to the Channel crossing in the last three weeks

Leaders of the Hauts-de-France region have been bracing themselves for a no-deal Brexit since 2018 when the possibility was first mooted. 

At the time, the regional president Xavier Bertrand made a furious speech to the European Parliament warning of a ‘dark scenario’ at the border should a no-deal Brexit go ahead.

French authorities estimated at the time that a two-minute delay at the port or at the Eurotunnel could lead to queues of up to 27km either side of the Channel.

Leaders of the Hauts-de-France region have been bracing themselves for a no-deal Brexit since 2018 when the possibility was first mooted, with initial estimates suggesting that queues of 27 kilometres could form because of border delays

Almost every day for the past two weeks, queues have been stretching back as far as five miles (pictured) ahead of an impending no-deal Brexit on January 1

Delays and traffic jams are also caused quickly by security incidents, with border authorities grappling with the continued problem of migrants trying to board lorries in an attempt to get across the border into the UK.

Fewer ferries crossing the Channel as a result of the coronavirus crisis has also caused long queues, as well as large numbers of empty lorries returning after their stockpiling deliveries.

Almost every day for the past two weeks, queues have been stretching back as far as five miles.

On this side of the channel, lorries were seen queuing along the M20 to board ferries in Dover

Disruption is expected in Kent over the weekend as a live-test of Operation Brock – the M20 no-deal traffic contingency plan – was put in place on Friday night

According to Eurotunnel, delays on the British side of the Channel are expected to continue for the next three weeks. Its contingency plans are based on a no-deal Brexit scenario involving 7,000 lorries queuing in Kent

‘We are seeing several hundred trucks above forecasts on midweek days,’ a Eurotunnel spokesman told The Guardian. ‘We expect it to be like this for the next three weeks with some tailing off as we get close to Christmas and then drop off in the first week of January.’

The spokesman noted that there would also be less travel than usual because of restrictions in place to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

Disruption is expected in Kent over the weekend as a live-test of Operation Brock – the M20 no-deal traffic contingency plan – was put in place on Friday night.

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