Northern France sees 8-hour tailbacks as Brits stockpile ahead of Brexit

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Northern France sees 8-hour tailbacks as Brits stockpile ahead of Brexit

Massive traffic congestion has been reported in northern France as British pre-Brexit stockpiling sees long queues for lorries to access the Channel Tunnel.


Emergency overflow areas have been set up and extra police deployed in the Nord-pas-de-Calais area of northern France to deal with the increasingly huge tailbacks of lorries waiting for access to the Channel Tunnel.

November saw the second highest level of lorry traffic in the tunnel's history, and traffic is increasing even more in December as customers in the UK rush to stock up on European goods ahead of January 1st.

From that date, the Brexit transition period ends and the rules will change for goods coming between the UK and the EU, although the fact that a trade deal has still not been agreed means there is plenty of uncertainty about what the rules will be.

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So customers are placing rush orders in an attempt to avoid possible chaos at the ports in the early part of 2021.

An extra 500 police have been deployed to implement the area's emergency traffic plan and keep the A16 running for non-freight traffic.

But hauliers and exporters in the region say their drivers are waiting up to eight hours to get onto a Tunnel crossing.

André Pecqueur, head of the French breweries La Goudale and La Saint-Omer, told Le Parisien: "The British are stocking up like crazy.

"Our beer exports have increased by 20 percent. Currently we have 120 lorries going to England daily, as opposed to the usual 80. But the situation on the roads is appalling.

"There is a wait of up to eight hours - it's inhuman, our drivers are tired.

"They can't rest and have to remain vigilant as they move forward. It is very hard physically and mentally."

Although the increased sales might sound like good news for European businesses, most anticipate a collapse in demand in the early part on 2021, and in the meantime are paying their drivers to sit in traffic.

Non-freight traffic on the tunnel is running normally.





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Anonymous 2020/12/16 11:50
Just a foretaste of what's to come. Brexit, the gift that keeps on giving.

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