The Home Affairs Committee has said that it can’t see how the Government can fulfil its pledge to deliver 100% exit checks – reiterating concerns recently highlighted by the Freight Transport Association (FTA).
FTA had previously said that the proposed manual passport checks at the main cross-Channel terminals would cause traffic chaos and long tailbacks of traffic which could result in Operation Stack being implemented on Kent motorways on a regular basis.
The new passport checking system is to be introduced from April 8, when all travellers leaving Britain will have to have their passports manually checked.
Don Armour - FTA’s manager - international affairs stated: “This Home Affairs Committee report confirms FTA’s concerns over the new proposed manual individual passport checks. We have already said that we are not convinced that the proposed passport checking system has been thought through properly or that it is as robust as officials would have us believe, and as a result we believe it will cause delays at the ports and exit points – and chaos on the roads leading to departure.”
FTA is calling for proper segregation of vehicles as they approach the cross-Channel terminals in order that single occupancy vehicles are separated from those with multiple passengers - including coaches - and can be dealt with quickly and efficiently to avoid delays to time-sensitive loads during the passport checking process.