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Port of Dover Introduces New Measures to Get Summer Holidays Off to the Best Start

The Port of Dover is expanding interim border control infrastructure, improving traffic systems and issuing fresh traveller guidance ahead of the busy summer travel season, which is expected to return to pre-pandemic volumes this year.

  • To help keep waiting times to a minimum, the Port is installing 50% more booths for use by French border control to enable greater passenger throughput, with installation to be completed before the key summer getaway weekend of 22-24 July
  • Internal traffic routes around the Port have been repositioned to improve vehicle flows and give more flexibility in managing busy periods
  • The Port’s expanded team of Passenger Champions will be mingling with customers on-site to provide help and information
  • Welfare provisions such as toilet facilities and a new refreshment stand will be available ahead of border controls, subject to opening times

Doug Bannister, Chief Executive of the Port of Dover, says: “Dover continues to be a popular choice with families planning their summer travel. We want everyone’s holiday to get off to the best start, and these measures should make a positive difference at busy times. However, it is also important for travellers to plan their journey to avoid needless delay or inconvenience, so we are issuing fresh travel guidance today to make the Dover experience a good one.”

The Port has been working with ferry operators, border authorities, central government and Kent County Council to ensure all stakeholders with key responsibilities are as prepared as possible. 

The Port of Dover strongly recommends the following to all passengers: 

  1. As the UK is no longer part of the European Union, holidaymakers are subject to enhanced checks at the border, and passengers are advised to expect average wait times of around 60-90 minutes for French border controls at the Port during peak periods. 
  2. Confirm ticket availability or book tickets prior to travelling to the port 
  3. Before setting off, visit your ferry operator’s website for updates 
  4. Read Kent County Council’s ‘check before you travel’ guide, to be fully prepared for your journey 
  5. Allow plenty of time for your journey, and arrive only for your allotted sailing 
  6. Bring adequate supplies, including food and water, in case of delays.
  7. Travel via main routes only, to avoid causing traffic delays for yourself and local residents 
  8. Have your documents ready to show at French border controls and check-in booths. These include passports, vaccination certificates or Covid test results, if applicable. This will ensure the quickest possible transit and reduce the queuing time for other vehicles 

Bannister concludes: “In advance of the busy summer getaway period, the Port is working with local partners to ensure we are all best prepared for the expected increase in passenger numbers. While this will be a busy summer ahead at the Port of Dover, we are well prepared and we look forward to welcoming all travellers.”


Media Contacts

01304 240400 Ext. 4410

Notes to Editors

The extra border control booths are expected to remain in place until a wider and more permanent upgrade of border control and Port infrastructure which is currently under discussion with stakeholders. 

The Port of Dover is the UK’s busiest international ferry port, handling more lorries than all other UK ports put together through an unrivalled and fluid operation capable of facilitating 120 ferry movements and 110 miles of freight per day. £144bn worth of UK trade and 33% of all trade with the EU is handled by the Port of Dover.

Dover is also the UK’s second busiest cruise port, has a marina and property business primed to benefit from a new waterfront and a busy cargo terminal handling fresh produce, containers, project cargo, general cargo and grain operating from a state-of-the-art terminal.

The Port of Dover holds ambitious net zero targets, placing it at the vanguard of decarbonisation within the UK ports industry. More information on these can be read here.