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Misery for families travelling to France as drivers face three-hour delays in ‘gridlock’ at Dover

British families heading on holiday today have faced delays of several hours on the roads of Dover because of gridlocked traffic.

The Cross-Channel ferry passengers have said they missed their ferries after being stuck in their cars for more than three hours.

It comes amid disruption and chaos across Britain’s transport network due to train strikes, extreme weather conditions and the summer holiday rush.

Huge delays around Dover because of gridlocked traffic have seen British holiday-makers miss their crossing to France

Passengers reported being stuck in the traffic for more than three hours due to the gridlock

Passengers reported being stuck in the traffic for more than three hours due to the gridlock

The Port of Dover has tried to assure passengers by saying it is fully operational but said the area is experiencing ‘very high levels of traffic’. 

Kent Police have not been involved in the jam but Kent County Council has issued a statement.

They said: ‘There is queuing and slow moving traffic on the A2 and the A20 coastbound due to high volumes of traffic heading to the Port of Dover.

‘Drivers are warned to expect delays.’

For many families, this is the first weekend they can go on holiday after schools broke up this week.

 

 

The huge increase in the number of holiday-makers heading to France and Europe is one of the major causes of the traffic. 

Many hoping to head to Calais today have shared their frustrations on social media.

Some branded the traffic a ‘joke’ and a ‘nightmare’ which has resulted in them missing their crossing. 

Across the country, there has been chaos on Britain’s transport network due to the extreme weather conditions and holiday rush.

Flooding and thunderstorms have caused difficult driving conditions, with road closures and power cuts expected and damage to some buildings caused by the extensive wet weather.   

Temperatures have dropped to around 69.8F (21C) are not expected to recover until Monday.

To further compound any travel problems brought about by the wet weather, East Midlands Trains warned of significant delays and cancellations today, as a significantly reduced service ran to and from London to repair damaged overhead line equipment caused by temperatures of more than 100F this week.

A car ploughs through surface water in Westminster, central London as the capital is deluged with rain, following a week that saw the UK experience record temperatures for July

A car ploughs through surface water in Westminster, central London as the capital is deluged with rain, following a week that saw the UK experience record temperatures for July

The Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning for rain which covers vast swathes of Scotland and England, with the exception of the South West region, until Sunday afternoon

Up to 20mm of rain fell in parts of London and the south-east of England overnight on Friday into Saturday, with forecasters expecting up to another 20mm during the morning, which could lead to travel problems

The Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning for rain which covers vast swathes of Scotland and England, with the exception of the South West region, until Sunday afternoon

Heavy rainfall this weekend has brought flooding and travel disruption after a week of high temperatures

Heavy rainfall this weekend has brought flooding and travel disruption after a week of high temperatures

Passengers travelling on the London St Pancras-Nottingham-Sheffield have also been told to check before heading out on their journeys as there will be a reduced timetable. And there is ongoing disruption between Leicester and Market Harborough after a person was hit by a train.

Gatwick Airport has also warned of potential disruption ‘due to ongoing adverse weather across Europe’ with passengers advised to check with their airlines for the latest information.  

But warmer weather is expected to return by Monday, with the country enjoying temperatures of 77F (25C) before rain returns later on in the week. And the south and south-west of the country will also this weekend escape the worst of the weather, with towns like Weymouth experiencing sunshine. 

A man walks with an umbrella through Wimbledon Common this morning as rain pounds the nation, with a yellow weather warning in place until Sunday evening

A man walks with an umbrella through Wimbledon Common this morning as rain pounds the nation, with a yellow weather warning in place until Sunday evening

The departure board at St Pancras didn't make the best reading this morning, with dozens of trains cancelled as repair work is carried out after intense heat caused damage to overhead power lines

The departure board at St Pancras didn’t make the best reading this morning, with dozens of trains cancelled as repair work is carried out after intense heat caused damage to overhead power lines

Yesterday, the heatwave left holidaymakers and commuters at boiling point with Britain’s creaking transport system described as a national embarrassment after one of the busiest days of the year was hit by travel chaos.  

Travel has continued to be affected by this today, as emergency repairs are carried out on parts of the rail network. With transport likely to be further compounded by flooding brought about by heavy rain today.   

Jake Kelly, East Midlands Trains managing director, said: ‘We’re sorry to everybody who has experienced disrupted journeys over the past two days.

‘We are working very closely with Network Rail while they work to repair the overhead line equipment and fully reopen the railway, which will in turn allow us to reintroduce our full train service to and from London St Pancras.

‘Whilst this work takes place, we do have a significantly reduced timetable in place on our London route over the weekend and our advice for customers is to avoid travelling on this route wherever possible and make alternative arrangements.

Heavy rain is expected over the weekend, with a yellow warning in place for large swathes of the country. The rain is expected to bring flooding on roads and potential power cuts

Heavy rain is expected over the weekend, with a yellow warning in place for large swathes of the country. The rain is expected to bring flooding on roads and potential power cuts

Women walk across London Bridge during heavy rain this morning. London and the UK are experiencing heavy rain and stormy weather today

Women walk across London Bridge during heavy rain this morning. London and the UK are experiencing heavy rain and stormy weather today

‘Due to the RMT industrial action, there will also be some changes to services on our local routes on Saturday, with revised timetables and replacement coach operations in place on some lines.’ 

Paul Rutter, Chief Operating Office for Network Rail, also apologised for the significant disruption, saying the ‘unprecedented heatwave’ had been ‘tremendously difficult’ for the train network. 

He said: ‘As an industry, we took pre-emptive action to reduce the services running yesterday in response to the forecast extreme heat. 

‘We continue to work closely with East Midlands Trains and Thameslink on keeping passengers moving safely and Network Rail engineers will continue to work round-the-clock to fix the over head line equipment, enabling a full service to run as soon as possible.

‘We would advise passengers not to travel on the Midland Main Line over the weekend unless absolutely necessary. 

‘If you must travel, please check before travelling with your train operator or National Rail Enquiries. I would like to thank all those affected for their patience.’ 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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