LONDON (AP) — Travelers seeking to cross the England Channel to enter France are facing severe delays because of heightened French security checks.
British officials said Saturday that the delays were caused by increased French border checks at the Port of Dover and the Channel Tunnels. The delays are slowing travel at the peak of the summer vacation season, when many British families travel to Europe by car.
France has been under a state of emergency because of repeated attacks on civilians by extremists.
Kent Police warned Saturday that some motorists face delays of eight hours before arriving at the port. Police distributed water to some of the people who had been stuck in their cars for hour. Some got out of their vehicles to sunbathe, walk their dogs, or allow their young children to stretch and play a bit as temperatures rose.
Some motorists complained of being stuck overnight in cars without food or water. Various sections of highway approaching the ferry port and the Channel Tunnel were closed.
Lawmaker Charlie Elphicke said poor planning was to blame for the chaos.
“The Department of Transportation and Home Office knew there would be heightened security checks in place in France,” he said. “They should have prepared.”