Calais chaos: Schoolchildren among hundreds stuck for five hours at border control in France

Travel misery was continuing at Calais where UK-bound coaches were on Tuesday morning queuing for hours at border control.

It came a day after schoolchildren returning from a half-term French trip were among hundreds of ferry passengers stuck in five-hour ferry queues on Monday.

Ferry provider DFDS warned on X on Tuesday morning: “There are queues for coaches with 3 hours wait time at Border Controls [at Calais].” It said other tourist traffic was “free flowing”.

P&O Ferries gave no update on the situation affecting its coach services.

On Monday, lines of coaches were bumper to bumper up at the port waiting to board ferries.

P&O said in a statement on X on Monday: “There is currently an approx 5-hour wait time for coaches at border controls in Calais. We will transfer you onto the next available crossing once you reach our departure lanes. Thank you for your patience.”

The delay sparked anger among some on social media including one mother whose son was stranded at the port.

Kelly Dodd wrote on X: “My son has been stuck on his school coach for hours, add on the journey to the port and they’ve been on the coach for over eight hours. They’re running out of drinks and phone battery. This is a disgrace.”

In response P&O wrote: “We sincerely apologise for the wait times your son is experiencing. We are working with the port authorities to relieve the wait times at border control as soon as possible.”

Families heading home from Calais were facing delays of up to 12 hour queues on Friday in ongoing problems at the port. The problems were also triggered by border control issues, P&O told frustrated passengers.

People returning to Dover on P&O services told KentOnline of the “carnage” and chaos at the French port as drivers battle in queues to get home.

One mum said: “Carnage isn’t the right word for it. It would be understandable if there was some organisation but it was a dash to get on the ferry.

“People were shouting and beeping at each other as people tried to get in front of each other.

“It’s been like a car park because there has been no organisation and no one telling people where to go and what lane to be in so everyone has been vying for the same spaces.

“If you didn’t push your way through someone would cut you up.

“It’s been so frustrating as we haven’t been told what gone wrong but we have been lucky to get on.”