Video recorders and the port of Poitiers

Holidaymakers are facing days of misery after police warned disruption on the roads to Dover could last until Monday.
Tens of thousands of people making their way to the Port of Dover have been stuck in traffic for more than 15 hours – with many forced to sleep in their cars overnight.
The reason for the delays was heightened French security on this side of the channel.
Questions have now been raised as to staffing levels to cope with a deluge of some 250,000 holidaymakers coupled with stringent security checks put in place by French authorities at the port in the wake of the terror attack in Nice last week.
Port authorities said French border control booths at Dover had been ‘seriously understaffed’ overnight on Friday, with just three of the seven passport control booths open.
At the height of the chaos, just one member of the French border force was checking passengers’ passports on hundreds of coaches – taking 40 minutes to check each coach.

While this obviously does not rise to the level of suttee a little bit of Napier would go down well here.

A mutter in the shell-like of the Frog bureaucrat (and, assuredly, the union rep) responsible for workplace scheduling that we are currently printing up 250,000 copies of their home addresses to distribute to the waiting crowd should work wonders.

28 thoughts on “Video recorders and the port of Poitiers”

  1. Isn’t this the equivalent of stopping your exports going out through customs, rather than holding back a tide of imported goods? Delaying tourists who are planning to spend $$$ in your country is not exactly helping matters is it?

  2. Jim. These are tourists heading home. The longer they can be kept in France, the more they’ll be likely to spend

  3. Apologies. My fail. It was outbound. Although, according to the fone conversation I had yesterday, there’ve been considerable delays the other way.

  4. Jim,
    Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence.

    Although it’s possible that the French border patrol union is trying to persuade the government to hire more border guards, so that the rest can have longer tea breaks.

  5. Uh? Britain wanted its border back didn’t it? Now it’s got its border back. Good and hard. This is what borders are like. I find it fucking hilarious personally.

  6. Richard: return when the queue has gone. Just like a bank, or supermarket, or anywhere else. Or go to another bank/supermarket/channel crossing without a queue. There’s more than one way to get to France, why does everybody funnel into the smallest, tightest, narrowest, clogged-up-iest point?

  7. BiG, as Britain wasn’t in the Schengen area anyway we had borders before.

    You may find it “fucking hilarious”. I think this simply demonstrates how France is increasingly dysfunctional. Which explains why so many more sensible Frenchmen and women live in Blighty. I find that “fucking hilarious”.

  8. Jgh,

    > why does everybody funnel into the smallest, tightest, narrowest, clogged-up-iest point?

    Dover and Folkestone have by far the largest capacity. There’s a train every 15 minutes, a ferry every 30 minutes. Other ports (Newhaven, Portsmouth) have just three or four ferries a day; those crossings are more expensive and take a lot longer.

    Of course it does mean that any problem causes long queues to build up on the M20. Same thing happens at Heathrow, on the tube, or at any high-capacity transport node when things break down.

  9. Ok I don’t get it. We keep being told that the border is in Calais what with that immigrant ‘jungle’ there but this article is saying the French border officials are working in Dover. I’m lost.

  10. Dongguan John

    England > France – Border is at Dover

    France > England – Border is at Calais

    Irrelevant in any case as the carriers get fined if they deliver illegals (same as for planes), so the ferries and trains would stop the France > England attempted migrants at Calais (or Paris for Eurostar etc) anyway, wherever the border.

    Hence, recent stuff about the Le Touquet agreement remaining in place was hot air with regard to refugee camps.

  11. “England > France – Border is at Dover”

    Or Folkestone / St Pancras etc – ie it mirrors the stuff the carriers do in any case.

  12. Ah ok thanks I see now. I haven’t taken a ferry to France since the 5th year French exchange so I had no idea how it worked.

  13. There is some suggestion ,in the Mirror I think, that these delays are a French retaliation for the Brexit vote. Now that the Conservative Party Chairman, Patrick McLoughlin, has denied it, its obviously true then.

  14. Bloke in Costa Rica

    You’d be mad to go to France on the car ferry as it is. Fly or Eurostar, then hire a car there. When Oi were a nipper, we used to park the car in Dover, go over to the hypermarché as foot passengers, then hoof it back with three months’ worth of cut-prize booze.

  15. BiCR,
    For solo travellers sure; but for families in the summer holidays it usually works out cheaper to drive. Especially if you’re staying a couple of weeks – the airport parking and car hire costs quickly mount up. I’m not a fan, but thousands of people have done the calculation for themselves and decided to drive.

  16. BiCR / Andrew M

    Also just plain convenience.

    You load the car at home, drive, and then unload at your destination – and with very little hassle normally.

    If you don’t like driving, then sure that might be an issue. But otherwise, it’s part of the holiday, especially with an interesting evening / overnight stop over en route. Taking skis and lots of clobber, I would usually opt to drive.

  17. DBC

    I don’t the French are that well organised? More likely the border staff are just taking their holiday at the same time.

  18. Get some Anusol and get over it Biggie. You lose.

    DBC–Even if it is malice it will hurt the Frogs in the pocket. And if that is the kind of nasty scum they are Brexit is doubly justified.

  19. Ferry: cheap if you avoid the obvious peak times, it’s no worse than any motorway service area and I need to break the journey. ! can load a car with everything (I am about to return from Italy with a dozen cases of wine). Can stop at interesting places etc. (Though I can do the >thousand miles Umbria–London with just one overnight stop I prefer 2 or three nowadays)
    Tunnel: quicker, but much more expensive, and not really an opportunity to have a meal break.
    Fly? baggage allowance, cost of hiring car for the two months or more I am away… airports!

  20. The passport checks in Calais for the shuttle by the uk have been a pain in the arse for more than a year now. When its busy, it takes more than an hour to go from check-in booths to the UK passport controls. The French were not responsible for delays.

    I would imagine that as there are only 4 booths in Folkestone for passport control (either UK or France), if they are under instructions to control everyone, it will take time. As I’m going through there Friday, I hope it will have cleared by then.

    There are no other profession I hold in more contempt than those idiots checking passports.

  21. @Ecks, I’m totally over it. I do find it hilarious that Brits seem to think they should get an exception to this whole “closed border” thing.

  22. BiG,
    How does someone not know that that there’s a border between France and the UK?

    Extraordinary.

  23. BiG

    Uh? Britain wanted its border back didn’t it? Now it’s got its border back. Good and hard. This is what borders are like. I find it fucking hilarious personally.

    @Ecks, I’m totally over it. I do find it hilarious that Brits seem to think they should get an exception to this whole “closed border” thing.

    Actually, what’s quite amusing is your slightly excited reaction. Have you never travelled to the UK before?

  24. ” I do find it hilarious that Brits seem to think they should get an exception to this whole “closed border” thing”

    Um, the border is not ‘closed’, thats when no-one is allowed to cross at all, like North and South Korea. Its a perfectly normal controlled open border, like those between any number of independent countries that allow people (with the correct documentation) to cross back and forth.

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