Motorists stranded in Kent after France banned UK traffic believe the situation will get worse after Brexit

With just a few days to go before Christmas, truck drivers held up by European travel bans in and around Dover fear that they may not be able to return home in time for celebrations with their families, and the long delays are a sign of things which will come in January after the end of the Brexit transition period

On one of the darkest and wettest days of the year, Daniel from Romania had waited four hours in Kent with a van full of cylinders from Gillingham that was to be delivered to Nancy, France on Monday

“I don’t know when I can get a ferry,” he told the Guardian. “I make this trip every week and it’s gotten worse Two or three months ago it was fine Now it’s waiting too much Too often it waits on the ferry or the train ”

He added, “I think after Jan. January not many people will come because it’s so difficult I lost a day here I don’t think I’ll come back in January

“The customs paper will make it even more difficult. At least 6000 or 7000 trucks come here Imagine 6000 or 7000 Customs cleared trucks before Custom paper truck takes 15 minutes That’s too difficult ”

France closed its border to UK traffic shortly after Boris Johnson announced a new strain of coronavirus that forced the ferries and the Channel Tunnel to cease traffic while cargo can still enter the UK, drivers are unlikely to be drivers take the risk of being caught until the border is reopened

Daniel said, “My company sent me a message that France can get cargo out of the UK in a few hours. Maybe I can go, but I don’t think I have to go to France and then home, but Christmas could be a problem An officer at the port says maybe two days ”

Stanislaw Olbrich, a 55-year-old driver who was stranded at Ashford International Truckstop about 24 miles north of Dover after much of the world closed its borders with the UK, just wanted to go home for Christmas with his wife and three children come south poland

Olbrich suspects that politics is involved “I take cargo to the UK and can’t return home because of the stupid virus. But I don’t know if it’s the virus – I think it’s politics,” said Olbrich

“It’s very difficult for me because I’m gone. My chances of going home for Christmas are sinking. It’s stupid and I’m nervous and unhappy about it”

Surrounded by about 200 other stranded trucks in Ashford, Olbrich said: “I have to come for Christmas – it’s a very special holiday in Poland It is very difficult for Poles to be away at Christmas”

Valter, a driver from Slovenia who regularly delivers clothes from Milan to London, said he had never experienced delays like this before. His truck had been parked in Dover for six hours after a delivery to London when asked when it would be wanted to move, he shrugged. “I don’t want to wait, but what can you do?”

Christina from Romania said she was afraid of sleeping in a van with eight others for another night. The vehicle was parked on the Dover coast next to a Premier Inn that she couldn’t afford

“I want to go home for Christmas, but I don’t know if it is possible,” she said. She traveled to England in the summer to pick strawberries on a farm in Ledbury, Herefordshire, but has had the last few months spent packing shrimp at a factory in Fort William in the highlands

A German registered truck driven by Tomas from Poland was one of about 30 trucks parked in the misnamed parking lot of the Airport Cafe in Sellindge near Ashford. He said, “It’s crazy I’ve got the whole thing Waited here day I want to go home in the tunnel tonight

“I just spoke to my wife and I told her I can’t drive because the French have closed the border and she is not happy This is a big problem I hope to come back home but I am waiting The freight industry estimated that 80% of the truck drivers operating in the UK were employed by EU companies

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World News – UK – Truck drivers fear stuck in Dover for Christmas as borders close

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/dec/21/lorry-drivers-fear-being-stuck-in-dover-for-christmas-as-borders-close