Manston airport now empty of queued HGVs

Workers have dealt with the HGV backlog Photo Louis McLaren

The HGV queue at Manston airport is now cleared with hauliers told to no longer head for the site.

As of last night (December 25) 4,500 trucks had made the crossing to France.

Some 15,526 tests have been administered and of those 36 were positive. Those drivers are isolating at the Holiday Inn hotel in Rochester.

Photo Louis McLaren

The site, managed by the Department for Transport and former land owners Stone Hill Park, is cleared according to Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.


Emergency services, Army personnel, Coastguard, local authority staff, security, marshalling and other staff at Manston, NHS test teams, French firefighters and  Polish doctors, diagnosticians, nurses and paramedics were all drafted in to get the hauliers home following the closure and then reopening of the border with France.

A huge local effort also mobilised to make sure truckers at Manston, Dover and on the M20 had food, water and hygiene items, including deliveries from individuals, clubs and businesses and members of the Polish and Romanian communities in the UK.

So pleased most of the driver are making there way home today! We set them up with a nice buffet breakfast this morning…

Posted by Vic Bussey on Thursday, 24 December 2020

The Port of Dover, working with sister ports in France, ferry operators and both the French and UK border agencies mobilised to ensure the port has remained open throughout Christmas. It will not shut and will keep operating as staff continue the work to get everyone on their way home.


As of yesterday evening (December 24) there were 2,800 vehicles at the airport – down from the 3,800 capacity at the height of the backlog.

The French border was initially closed to UK passengers and accompanied freight on Sunday night with the French government voicing concerns over the virulent new strain of covid spreading in parts of England.

Photo Louis McLaren

It reopened Wednesday and a huge effort has since taken place to get upwards of 8,000 stranded hauliers back on their journey home.


Queueing remains on the M20 with around 1,600 vehicles still waiting to cross but is being gradually cleared.