Thousands of motorists heading to Europe are facing TEN HOUR delays in Dover ...

Thousands of furious motorists at the Port of Dover are facing 10-hour delays and nine-mile queues as police conduct sweeping spot checks in a major security operation on the M20 but refuse to reveal why. 

Lorries trying to access Dover docks in southern England have been brought to a standstill as Kent Police officers check every vehicle as part of Operation Stack, a force for the spokesman said. 

The Channel Tunnel in Folkestone has also been brought to a standstill, forcing the coast-bound M20 between Junctions 8 and 9 to be turned into a lorry park for freight vehicles queuing for the port.  

Operation Stack was implemented at 11am today and stood down at 12pm. All non-freight traffic has been advised to use the A20, A2 and M2. Kent Police have refused to say why they were conducting spot checks. 

However, a spokesman for the Port of Dover told MailOnline that Operation Stack was launched following an 'incident' at the port yesterday. They would not be drawn on further questions. 

There is stationary traffic on the A2 Jubilee Way coastbound at A20 (Eastern Docks roundabout) and congestion to the Shepherdswell turn off, which is nine miles away. Traffic is also very slow along the A256 from Whitfield heading into Dover as motorists try to avoid problems elsewhere. 

Kent Police said: 'A policing operation involving vehicle and passenger checks at Kent ports has been stood down. Border control checks are now returning to normality.'

'The policing operation has now been stood down and border control checks are returning to normality.'

Police are spot checking thousands of lorries trying to access the Port of Dover at Dover docks and the Channel Tunnel today

Police are spot checking thousands of lorries trying to access the Port of Dover at Dover docks and the Channel Tunnel today

Police are spot checking thousands of lorries trying to access the Port of Dover at Dover docks and the Channel Tunnel today

Police are spot checking thousands of lorries trying to access the Port of Dover at Dover docks and the Channel Tunnel today

Police are spot checking thousands of lorries trying to access the Port of Dover at Dover docks and the Channel Tunnel today

Police are spot checking thousands of lorries trying to access the Port of Dover at Dover docks and the Channel Tunnel today

Police are spot checking thousands of lorries trying to access the Port of Dover at Dover docks and the Channel Tunnel today

Police are spot checking thousands of lorries trying to access the Port of Dover at Dover docks and the Channel Tunnel today 

Police are spot checking thousands of lorries trying to access the Port of Dover at Dover docks and the Channel Tunnel today

Police are spot checking thousands of lorries trying to access the Port of Dover at Dover docks and the Channel Tunnel today

Police are spot checking thousands of lorries trying to access the Port of Dover at Dover docks and the Channel Tunnel today

Police are spot checking thousands of lorries trying to access the Port of Dover at Dover docks and the Channel Tunnel today

Police are spot checking thousands of lorries trying to access the Port of Dover at Dover docks and the Channel Tunnel today

Police are spot checking thousands of lorries trying to access the Port of Dover at Dover docks and the Channel Tunnel today

In a statement published on its website, the Port of Dover said: 'Kent Police have been checking all vehicles and passengers since 15 September 2020 as part of a wider operation in Kent and on all short strait routes.

'Port of Dover received notification that Operation Stack (Stage 1) has been implemented on the M20 between J8 - J9 Coastbound. We are working with our ferry partners to keep the traffic moving and we would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused to our customers and local community.'

WHAT IS OPERATION STACK? 

Operation Stack is a procedure used by Kent Police and the Port of Dover to park (or 'stack') lorries on the M20 motorway in Kent when services across the English Channel, such as those through the Channel Tunnel or from the Port of Dover, are disrupted.

Operation Stack is managed by Kent Police using powers under the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 and coordinated by a multi-agency group known as Operation Fennel.

According to Damian Green MP, by 2007 the system had been implemented 74 times in the 20 years since it was first introduced. 

Operation Stack is ordinarily implemented whenever there is an urgent need to inhibit the flow of traffic to the Channel Tunnel and the Port of Dover, which handle 90 per cent of freight traffic between the UK and Europe. 

There are officially only 550 parking spaces for HGVs in Kent, so if access to cross-channel services is restricted, congestion would quickly spread across the county.

The most common causes of Operation Stack are severe weather that either cancels or restricts ferry services, industrial action at the French ports of Calais, Dunkirk and Boulogne, and electrical failures in the Channel Tunnel.

Advertisement

Ferry operator P&O Ferries also said: 'Due to a special operation, the Kent Police are currently checking all freight and tourist

read more from dailymail.....

PREV Woodwork at Paris cathedral
NEXT Four Navy aircrew parachute to safety moments before E-2C Hawkeye plane crashes ...