Extra toilets due to arrive at Manston lorry park site tomorrow

Manston lorry park Photo Frank Leppard

An additional 70 toilets are due to arrive at Manston tomorrow (December 23) to ensure there are enough facilities for up to 3,000 HGV drivers parked on site due to the closure of the border in France.

Earlier today a Department for Transport spokesperson said there were 77 toilets onsite. A later statement from the government and the Kent Resilience Forum said the number was 150 toilets and urinals.

EU Freight destined for Dover Port and Eurotunnel Terminals is still being held in queues and being directed to Manston airfield after the border with France was shut to UK travellers and accompanied freight going into the country on Sunday night. Travel from France to Britain is still open.

The closure is in place due to fears over the new variant of coronavirus spreading in the south east, according to the French government.

Photo Frank Leppard
However, it is understood that from midnight tonight, French nationals and citizens from the EU will be able to return to France with a negative PCR test done less than 72 hours before departure, as well as British citizens who have their permanent residency in France.
PCR tests take up to 48 hours to get the results back, unlike lateral flow tests that return results in around 30 minutes.

The Department for Transport also said more food trucks were heading for Manston this afternoon.

Photo Frank Leppard

A Government and Kent Resilience Forum statement said food, toilets and water are available for hauliers along the M20 and at Manston, with more food trucks sent to Manston.

The statement adds: “There are more than adequate health and welfare provisions available, with nearly 150 toilets and urinals at Manston and portable toilets every 1 km on the M20 between junctions 10a-11. Seventy additional toilets will arrive at Manston tomorrow morning.


“Though hauliers are routinely well prepared for disruption and following the traffic management plans while we work to manage the disruption, it remains important that people currently avoid travelling to Kent.

“If you must travel, come prepared for delays and carry food, water and blankets.  Road-side welfare can only be provided to stationary traffic for safety reasons and it is not a long term option.”

Work to prepare the site has been taking place throughout the year and there are portable toilets and shower facilities as well as a shuttle to the main terminal but not all drivers on the site have been able to access facilities.


Local businesses and individuals have been to the site to donate provisions. Ramsgate Football Club is delivering 150 pizzas.


However, Thanet council says donations are not needed as DfT ensures facilities are provided.

Photo Frank Leppard
Trucks honking their horns from the site tonight can be heard by residents in Minster, Manston and Westgate.
A special development order allows use of the Manston site as part of the Kent-wide Operation Fennel to hold up to 4,000 HGVs to help cope with any post EU exit jams at the Port of Dover.


  1. DFT say food is not needed as they are responsible for providing it, yet they haven’t provided it-surely a lawsuit them? So we now have three thousand & even if we take the nearly 150 toilet & urinals number & another 70 coming tomorrow then that is nearly 220 for currently 3,000 that by tomorrow could well be the 4,000 capacity, stuck there 24/7.

    • Reported today there are nearly 4,000 trucks there, which means there are over 4,000 people as some trucks have two drivers! This has not been thought through, and it will probably get worse if the EU talks break down. What a mess, we can thank Boris the blustering idiot for!

  2. We should send the bill for all this to Macron!
    Why should the British tax payer foot the bill for a situation that the French have created?
    And if France wants the covid tests done, let France pay for them as well!

    • What! the French are responsible for creating a new strain of the virus? Sacre blue. Oh, what about the other fifty odd countries that suspended travel from the UK? should we bill them too?

    • Doormatt Hancock says the new Covid strain is out of control, Kent infection rates are rocketing, Track n Trace is a shambles, Boris’ Covid “strategy” changes daily – and the rest of the world should welcome thousands of people from Plague Island without tests? Get real!

    • Totally agree, this is down to France. Why don’t we just let them all through, and France can do the screening, and foot the bill.

    • Why is France being blamed for this mess, I haven’t seen it on the news, but there are plenty of other ports from England with ferries going to Belgium, Holland, and even Germany, are they working, or have they blocked trucks as well?

    • Our Government pander to the french at every chance going, giving £ millions extra in funding to stop the human traffickers on the last occassion. It’s about time the french took charge for something of their making and pay some money back into the british taxpayers purse for a change.
      Looks like the extra toilets might not be needed now if some are being let through tomorrow.

  3. At least Manston is now serving a useful purpose rather than being an ill advised project for Sir Dodger, his fantastit mate, Tony F, with his electric barges, & a transport minister who is so totally incompetent as to tell the UK public that we have 170 trucks queuing at Dover. What a trio of absolute amateurs. They need to apologise to us all for being totally incompetent. Why is Sir Dodger appearing on the TV do much after years of doing nothing except supporting Tony F? Is he hoping for a new gravry train – House of Lords?

  4. Great to see the community effort. Just bypass Thanet Council. They clearly don’t care and are a total irrelevance even though this is on their patch. Have you ever seen such an utterly useless response?

    Well done to everyone involved.

  5. What’s the problem? That’s a better ratio of toilets to people than most of our beaches on a bank holiday weekend…

    • The toilets in Birchington have never been reopened since the end of the November lockdown! Disgusting when there are so many frail and elderly people living and shopping there.

  6. Iirc, the manston holding site was designed for an initial 2000 trucks and a potential for 4000 after more services/facility’s are brought to site.
    Seems the extra services and facility’s are being delivered. Its all mentioned in draft Dft (sop).
    Thankfully kcc & local councillors are very small bit players in this current manston operation.
    Manston airport in the worldwide news, the airport freight hub reopening and other airport related developments are on the way.

    • That’s interesting.
      Everywhere else in the world aviation projects are in retreat (latest project to be mothballed is R2 at London City).
      What special qualities do you think Manston now has (it never used to) to make it buck the trend?

      • Andrew, what’s the betting you will get some Manstard saying it has the longest runway in the country (it doesn’t).

  7. A299 blocked now as lorry drivers block both sides. Been stuck for about half an hour. Feel so sorry for the lorry drivers

  8. Took the police about half an hour to attend lol one car was there after about 5 minutes the police Van’s took about 45 minutes. This country is embarrassing

    • Quite frankly, I am sick of reading all the negative things like ‘this country is totally embarrassing’.
      What is happening in the world is totally unprecedented and it would not matter which political party was in power, it would still be challenging.
      It is the French who are holding all the cards at the moment.
      It will get resolved.
      Look at the way kind hearted groups have risen to help the lorry drivers.
      For goodness sake get a grip!
      PLEASE stop running this country down.
      If it is so bad, why do so many people want to live here.

  9. I am appalled at some of the comments here. This is a situation of England’s own making. Nothing to do with the French. If they had a new virus strain you would be closing the borders fast. Anyway, this chaos is only a week earlier than expected when WE close our borders and ‘take back our country’. God help us, led by donkeys.

  10. I believe that the key to all this was testing ,the goverment totally wasted valuable time to ramp up testing at the stsrt and then handed the testing over to inadequate private companys.
    I believe that the labour party ewould have been far more efficient because the testing would have been done at. the local level and couldhave been contained far more effectively,and dont even mention dominic cummings destroying public trust.

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