Lorry drivers stranded in Kent slapped with parking tickets

Now lorry drivers stranded in Kent are slapped with PARKING tickets – as one fed-up trucker wipes out a car while another continually blasts his horn when he’s unable to leave the UK

  • Roads in Dover and Folkestone are clogged with lorries amid chaos at Kent ports
  • Pictures taken today show lorry drivers have been fined for parking on the A20 
  • Operation Stack is in place along the M20 to hold HGVs after France’s travel ban
  • Moveable barrier could be installed on the motorway to allow contraflow tonight
  • Irish lorry driver says his wife is ‘worried sick,’ he won’t be home for Christmas 

Lorry drivers stranded in Kent are being slapped with parking tickets as pictures show a fed-up trucker colliding with a car while another blasts his horn once he’s stranded at the Port of Dover.

Operation Stack is in place along the M20 in Kent, a holding measure that closes off one carriageway so that lorries can park up during disruption at the county’s ports. 

Should the M20 become full, there are 4,000 spaces at Manston Airport, in Thanet, for HGV drivers to park at until disruption ends, while there are other lorry parks open in the county.

Drivers are usually told to stock up on provisions in the event of problems at the border, while lorry parks are able to provide necessary provisions until traffic eases. 

Lorry driver Eric Johnson revealed hauliers are running out of options in the chaos, the 50-year-old from Birmingham said: ‘Apparently all the laybys nearby are booked up and the truck stops are basically full too.

‘For a lot of us getting here later on, there’s nowhere else to go.’

Pictures shared online appear to show some lorry drivers receiving fines for parking in laybys in Dover and nearby Folkestone. 

The chaos could continue until Christmas Eve, with French president Emmanual Macron insisting lorry drivers must present proof they have tested negative for Covid-19 before being allowed to cross The Channel.

Irish trucker Damien Doherty, 42, said: ‘My wife is worried sick I won’t be home for Christmas.’ 

Lorries are parked up on the M20 as part of Operation Stack, after France closed its border with the UK to prevent the spread of Covid-19

A foreign lorry driver took out the front of a care worker’s car in Ashford, Kent, today, amid chaos at the Port of Dover 

France imposed an inbound travel ban from 11pm last night amid the spread of the mutant Covid-19 strain which plunged London and the South East into Tier Four 

‘I was literally the last lorry in the Port last night before they shut it.

‘Thankfully I managed to get it shipped out in time as it’s a very expensive load of perishable fish.

‘Now I’ve been stuck here ever since. My wife is worried sick I won’t be home for Christmas.

‘As it’s an empty container, I don’t think it’s a priority for me to pick it back up. But I’m hoping I’ll be out of here by 9pm tonight.

‘It’s a very strange decision for the French government to make. It definitely feels political rather than practical.’

France imposed an inbound travel ban from 11pm last night amid the spread of the mutant Covid-19 strain which plunged London and the South East into Tier Four.

The ban forced Dover to close to all freight vehicles leaving the UK for 48 hours, plunging the ports into chaos with 23 mile long queues and sparking panic buying across Britain amid fears of a shortage of fresh food and doses of the coronavirus vaccine.

Some 10,000 lorries a day travel through Dover, which accounts for 20 per cent of all goods brought and sold in UK.  

Santos Filipe, 54, brought a cargo of vegetables to England from Spain at 11am on Monday morning with the intention of returning the same afternoon.

But he now fears he may not be able to return home to native Portugal to enjoy the festivities.

He said: ‘We all feel awful that we might miss Christmas after everything this terrible year has given us.

‘I have had to turn off my emotions. I’m trying not to let it get to me.

‘They should have shut the border as soon as they heard of this new strain of the coronavirus.

‘Or they should be testing all drivers before they leave while stopping normal passengers from travelling.

‘We are key workers who have helped keep the world going throughout this pandemic and we are repaid with these rash decisions.

‘I don’t know how long this will take. They said we may get information this morning but we were shown papers at the border which said it would be at least two days.’

Foreign lorry drivers, including Romanian Christian, have parked up at Ashford lorry park tonight amid chaos at Dover

Stranded drivers said today they had heard that spaces were filling up across Kent’s lorry parks and lay-bys 

The borders are set to reopen with the Port of Dover saying inbound lorries are now coming into the UK and the French government pledging to ‘resume movement’ as soon as possible

Amid the chaos at Dover today, one frustratrated driver sounded horn with no signs of stopping – prompting fury from those nearby.

One man who saw the incident said: ‘It seemed he [the driver] was really angry he couldn’t get through so was sounding his horn the whole time.

‘People who live nearby and who were staying in the hotels were coming out and having a go at him because of the noise.

‘Some people were threatening to throw roadwork signs at the driver because he kept going around the roundabout beeping the horn really loudly.

‘A woman came out of the hotel in her dressing gown to see what was going on. One man threatened to throw a frying pan through his window if he didn’t stop sounding the horn. The driver was making rude gestures to locals who came out to shout at him.

‘At one point he appeared to drive at the workers on the gate, then slammed his brakes on at the last minute.’

Operation Stack is in place on the M20, with space to hold up to 7,000 lorries. HGV drivers are usually told to stock up on food in case the measure comes into place

One furious lorry driver sounded his own horn in protest to the long delays at Dover earlier today

Foreign lorry drivers remain stranded in Dover tonight, including Polish trucker Marcin Pastok (pictured), who has driven to Ashford International Truck Stop amid the chaos

Residents in the small Aycliffe neighbourhood of Dover which overlooks the usually jammed A20 coming into the town fear things could get worse before they get better. 

While Operation Stack has diverted lorries away from the village, Ian Goldthorpe, 46, fears for his family’s health.

The father-of-two said: ‘We don’t really know how safe it is here as they did the tests but never told us what it found. It’s very ominous.’

Carer Mr Goldthorpe has lived in Aycliffe for six years with his wife and two sons aged nine and 21.

The carer added: ‘It can be an absolute nightmare living here with the horns constantly tooting from 4am to 7am. They just sit there going beep.

A top French haulage union has stoked fears of a driver strike, with an official warning ‘no trucker wants to deliver’ to Britain amid the new strain.

Highways England is considering installing a barrier that will help traffic flow on the M20 while lorries are held during disruption at Dover 

‘So when you’ve got kids it can be really tough as they go to school drained and tired.

‘We’ve had Dover TAP for the past five or six days in a row and it’s just been constant queues.

‘You feel trapped and very isolated as you can’t really go anywhere as the A20 is our only escape.

‘We always knew Brexit was probably going to cause us problems four years ago. They still haven’t been able to reach a deal so we’ll have to wait and see.

‘But it could be the perfect storm. I fear these problems are going to be here for a very long time.’

The borders are set to reopen with the Port of Dover saying inbound lorries are now coming into the UK and the French government pledging to ‘resume movement’ as soon as possible. 

However, the top French haulage union has stoked fears of a driver strike, with an official warning ‘no trucker wants to deliver’ to Britain amid the new strain. 

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