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Port of Dover issues delay warning ahead of Easter getaway

 (PA Wire)
(PA Wire)

Holidaymakers preparing to embark on Easter getaways from the Port of Dover are being warned they may face delays due to tighter security checks following the Moscow concert attack.

The Kent port issued the alert as French authorities stepped up border monitoring after more than 130 people were killed in the Russian capital on Friday night.

Juxtaposed border controls mean French officials check passports at the Port of Dover before people board cross-Channel ferries.

Around 20,000 cars are expected to travel through the port between Thursday and Easter Monday, with the busiest days likely to be Good Friday, Easter Saturday and Easter Sunday.

The port said in a statement: “France has heightened its border security checks following the attack in Moscow on Friday.

“These measures may increase border processing times at the port.

“Please be mindful of this when travelling to the port and check with your ferry operator for arrival times.”

Drivers across the UK are being warned over long delays as more than 14 million Easter getaway trips are expected to take place.

The RAC said journeys on some popular routes could take twice as long as normal as the bank holiday weekend coincides with the start of a two-week holiday for many schools, leading to a surge in traffic.

We are doing what we can to make journeys easier by removing miles of roadworks, but I would encourage everyone to take some time, plan ahead and ensure your vehicle is prepared for what might be a long journey

Andy Butterfield, National Highways

Transport analysis company Inrix predicted the worst congestion on Thursday will be between 2pm and 7pm as holidaymakers compete for road space with regular commuters.

The busiest route is expected to be the western section of the M25 between the M23 for Gatwick and the M1 for Hertfordshire.

Journeys on this stretch from 4pm are expected to take over two hours, which is more than twice as long as usual.

National Highways announced it will lift more than 850 miles of roadworks by 6am on Thursday and they will not be put back until April 2.

Andy Butterfield, customer services director at the Government-owned company, said: “This is the first bank holiday of the year, so we expect the roads to be busy with people looking to make the most of a long weekend.

“We are doing what we can to make journeys easier by removing miles of roadworks, but I would encourage everyone to take some time, plan ahead and ensure your vehicle is prepared for what might be a long journey.”

Network Rail is urging train passengers to check their journey details before they travel as some major routes will be closed due to engineering work.

The West Coast Main Line between London Euston and Milton Keynes will be shut for four days from Good Friday.

There will also be disruption in the areas around Glasgow and Huddersfield.

Network Rail’s network strategy director Laurence Bowman said: “There’s never a good time to do the work we need to do but the four days of the bank holiday, when fewer people are travelling, give us the opportunity to do major work we couldn’t do on a normal weekend.”

Tourist board VisitEngland said around 11 million people in the UK are planning an overnight Easter trip, generating an estimated £3.2 billion boost to the economy.