Queues are forming on the A299 Thanet Way and Hengist Way and lorries are backed up to the Minster roundabout with the road between Minster and Jentex closed and blocked reportedly due to a lorry drivers’ protest this morning (December 23).
Around 100 freight drivers are said to be blocking the route. Extra police patrols are being called in to deal with the chaos.
— Tim Walters (@timbalinajolie) December 23, 2020
Laundry Road is also blocked with HGVs, bringing traffic to a standstill in both directions.
The road is closed at Spitfire Way by the airfield holding and checking area.
Delays are increasing on A299 Eastbound between A253 (Monkton Roundabout) and B2190 Minster Road (Minster Roundabout).
Police, nurses and NHS Track and Trace teams are reportedly stuck in the jam.
There are around 2,200 freight vehicles currently parked at the Manston airfield due to the closure of the UK-French border. The border reopened from midnight last night but drivers need a negative lateral flow covid test result before they can travel.
Drivers at the Manston holding site are said to have broken down perimeter fencing before blocking the road.
Testing is being carried out at the site which means freight drivers are also arriving from Dover in order to get the all-clear so they can make the Channel crossing. The need to travel from Dover is said to have caused anger among driver stuck by the port and scuffles with police have been reported.
A Kent Police spokesperson said: “Kent Police received reports in the morning of Wednesday 23 December of disturbances involving individuals in both Dover and at the DfT-run lorry holding facility at Manston who are hoping to cross the Channel.
“One man has been arrested for obstructing a highway in Dover and remains in custody.
“Officers on the ground at both locations are working with partner agencies to make sure those hoping to travel to the continent adhere to the latest Government travel requirements regarding Covid testing.
“Kent Police continues to work with partner agencies to make sure those hoping to cross the Channel are informed of the latest procedures and requirements.”