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Families stuck on roads into Dover told chaos will last until Monday

27 July 2016

United Kingdom officials were sent to help at French border posts overnight on Saturday, in response to what the Home Office said was "extraordinary disruption".

She said: "The security of our citizens is paramount, and as France acts to meet the heightened security pressures it faces we are also taking all necessary action to ensure the border between our two countries remains secure - whilst also ensuring goods and passengers move as quickly and efficiently as possible between them".

The head of the port of Calais has said he is "ashamed" about the huge delays British holidaymakers have faced at Dover, as police told motorists they face weeks of delays. She said: "I rode from the queue to the local shop four miles away to fetch water, biscuits and gluten-free food for people struggling in cars around us - some people were getting desperate". The town is a popular destination for British tourists looking to cross into France, and CNN reports that the large amount of traffic has created delays of up to 12 hours.

Holidaymakers using the route to cross the Channel suffered up to 15 hours in tailbacks after French authorities increased border checks.

"This can't carry on and it certainly can't happen again".

"When we know that there will be big traffic, as it was yesterday because it was starting holidays, it should be organised". Puissesseau says that he understands that French police have imposed more controls because of terrorism fears, but he "cannot understand" why more security forces weren't assigned to do the checks.

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"I can tell you when I finish the call with you I will call the Home Office and tell them it is unacceptable".

Helen Deeble said they were at fault for not providing enough staff for security checks at their border controls.

But the Port of Dover revealed that overnight on Friday and Saturday, only three of seven French border control booths were working during the long delays of traffic going into the Port of Dover.

The Prime Minister's official spokeswoman said: "I don't think there's any evidence to suggest that".

The Freight Transport Association has warned there is a danger of Operation Stack being triggered in Kent if French border authorities do not address the backlogs seen at Dover this weekend.

"Border Force officers have been working around the clock to assist their French counterparts - and we stand ready to assist in any other way needed".