Roadworks delay Dover cruise traffic

//Roadworks delay Dover cruise traffic

If you’re driving to Dover to join a cruise ship or a cross-Channel ferry, you might want to give yourself a little extra time to get there – as I discovered when I visited Oceania’s Marina in the port on Friday.
There are severe delays at Folkestone – where the M20 becomes the A20 and enters the Roundhill Tunnels – due to the failure of expansion joints in a viaduct. Port-bound traffic, which has already come down from three lanes to two past the EuroTunnel turn-offs, has to squeeze into a single lane. Similar restrictions also affect traffic travelling out of Dover towards London.
The hold-ups can add at least an hour to journey times at peak periods, and long tailbacks could continue throughout the summer.
A Highways Agency spokesman explains that replacement joints could take three or four months to be manufactured in Europe, and work to fit them might not be finished before the end of the year.
Dover Harbour Board and ferry operators are demanding urgent action, and have proposed temporary bridges be fitted.
“A permanent repair to the fault is several months away and so the need to provide an adequate temporary solution is becoming critical if the key route to the UK’s busiest ferry port is to cope with the anticipated volumes of traffic through the busy summer season,” the operators said.
Traffic is likely to increase by 50 per cent next weekend with more than a quarter of a million passengers expected to travel by ferry via Dover at the start of the school holidays.
Fred Olsen, Holland America Line, Saga, Oceania, Princess, Costa, Crystal, AIDA and Seabourn all have cruise ships using the Dover terminals for turnarounds during the next few months, and P&O Ferries, DFDS Seaways and SeaFrance all use the harbour daily.
ACCESS to another of the UK’s leading cruise and ferry ports is about to be improved . . . by the long-awaited opening of the Hindhead Tunnel on the A3.
Discovery, Swan Hellenic’s Minerva, and Hebridean Princess are among ships using Portsmouth’s new terminal this summer, and at the beginning of November Fred Olsen’s Boudicca will begin a season of voyages from the port.
The £371 million tunnel, avoiding the notorious traffic bottleneck of the Devil’s Punchbowl on the main road from London to the south coast, has been under construction for four-and-a-half years and will finally open to traffic on July 27.
Matt Grimes, planning and logistics director for Fred Olsen, said: ” The new tunnel is excellent news for our guests . . . it will ease congestion and reduce travel time on the A3 to Portsmouth. By the time we start our cruise season in November, travel to and from the port, as well as the whole embarkation experience, will be greatly improved.”

By | 2011-07-18T18:19:44+00:00 18 July 2011|Cruise Destinations|0 Comments

About the Author:

John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.

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