Since Friday, hundreds of people travelling by coach, especially young people on a school trip at the beginning of the Easter holidays, have had to wait sometimes more than 12 hours before boarding a boat, and long queues have formed near the port.

"The situation is improving," Home Secretary Suella Braverman told Sky News on Sunday morning. "We apologize for the wait times this (Sunday) morning. The current wait at the entrance to the Port of Dover is approximately 4 to 5 hours," the Port of Dover warned in a message posted early Sunday on Twitter.

The ferry company DFDS reports a "6-hour wait" for buses before they can pass border controls.

In this period of massive departure on holiday for many Britons, the port of Dover experienced a larger influx than anticipated on Friday while at the same time the weather conditions complicated boarding the ferries.

Up to 400 coaches were stranded according to the Port of Dover and the disruption continued throughout Saturday.

The port and several British ferry companies have also highlighted the length of controls by the French border police, who since Brexit must check the passports of all passengers.

Many passengers expressed their anger on social media and in the British media.

"My son has been sitting in a bus since 18:30 pm yesterday (Saturday) and they still haven't boarded!" said Chet on Twitter.

Rosie Paearson, traveling with her husband and two sons, had to wait 16 hours before boarding. "It was a real mess," she told the PA news agency. "Nobody told us anything during the 16 hours," she added.

Road traffic at the port of Dover had been problematic at the end of July on the occasion of holiday departures for the British.

The British government had blamed the France and its insufficient staff at the border, which Paris denied. On the French side, the role of Brexit had been pointed out, and the longer controls that result from it.

© 2023 AFP