Powerful winds and operational issues affecting Eurotunnel failed to cause the extent of traffic challenges in Dover that have previously been seen when such issues combine as the new traffic management measures currently being assessed showed their worth.
The Port utilised the full extent of the new traffic management measures on the A20 between Dover and Folkestone, preventing several miles of freight vehicles from creating gridlock in Dover.
The heavy seas caused longer berthing times for ferries that required the assistance of the Port’s trusted tugs to help them safely berth. The perfect storm of exceptionally high May winds plus operational issues at Eurotunnel resulted in a very unusual situation for the time of year.
Tim Waggott, Chief Executive, Port of Dover, thinks 6th May was a freak combination of events but also shows the value of the new traffic measures.
“This is the second time this year we have had to deal with the fallout from operational problems with Eurotunnel but since the new traffic management measures were instigated by Highways England in partnership with the Port of Dover, Dover District Council, Kent Police and our community, it has proved decisive in helping to keep the town clear of queuing freight vehicles.
“The new measures were tested to the limit with high traffic volumes combining with freak weather and operational problems at Eurotunnel.
“Despite some early teething issues, our community has said to us that the new measures are keeping Dover clear. Yesterday was challenging, but we have already seen the benefits of working together on traffic solutions. The abnormal pressures put on the new system during what was an unusual situation have really highlighted its worth in helping to keep Dover, the Port and the UK economy moving.”