Lorry drivers face being stuck for days in makeshift camp on Manston airfield

Desperate European lorry drivers stuck in a makeshift camp at Kent’s Manston airport have been handed hot meals by a Sikh charity as they face the prospect of spending Christmas trapped in their cabs in Britain.

Volunteers have stepped up to help feed drivers parked at the disused airport, which has been turned into a giant truck park, amid complaints about poor conditions.

It comes as tensions boiled over this morning, with truckers staging a protest, breaking down fences and blocking roads.

Last night members of the Gravesend Gurdwara Sikh community rallied to make 500 chickpea curries and 300 mushroom pasta dishes in just under three hours for the hungry waiting drivers.

Working with humanitarian charity Khalsa Aid to deliver the hot food, the volunteers were escorted to the airport by Kent Police last night.

Kent County Council previously handed out cereal bars and raced to provide more toilet facilities to the makeshit camp, while volunteers from Ramsgate FC made pizzas for the drivers.

Up to 4,000 drivers are understood to be stranded at Manston Airport, while up to 10,000 truckers have been entangled in the chaos throughout Kent. 

The military and NHS are currently carrying out a mass testing programme after France confirmed it would allow hauliers with a negative Covid test to travel across the French border. It follows tense negotations after a ban on arrivals from the UK was imposed by President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday.

Hot curries prepared for the truckers

Hot curries prepared for the truckers

Meals were cooked by volunteers

Meals were cooked by volunteers

A Sikh charity prepared hot meals including curries (pictured) and pasta dishes to hand out to the desperate truckers

Water and snacks were also handed out to the stranded truckers by the charity from their van full of refreshments

Water and snacks were also handed out to the stranded truckers by the charity from their van full of refreshments

Water and snacks were also handed out to the stranded truckers by the charity from their van full of refreshments

Some of the snacks collected by the charity to be handed out by volunteers to the European truckers waiting to cross into France

Some of the snacks collected by the charity to be handed out by volunteers to the European truckers waiting to cross into France

Some of the snacks collected by the charity to be handed out by volunteers to the European truckers waiting to cross into France

The disused Manston airfield, which has been turned into a giant lorry park, can be seen in the background as angry drivers clash with police on the A299

The disused Manston airfield, which has been turned into a giant lorry park, can be seen in the background as angry drivers clash with police on the A299

The disused Manston airfield, which has been turned into a giant lorry park, can be seen in the background as angry drivers clash with police on the A299

Volunteers from Ramsgate FC last night made pizzas for the lorry drivers stuck at Manston Airport with no access to hot food

Volunteers from Ramsgate FC last night made pizzas for the lorry drivers stuck at Manston Airport with no access to hot food

Volunteers from Ramsgate FC last night made pizzas for the lorry drivers stuck at Manston Airport with no access to hot food

It comes as:

  • More areas of England could be put into Tier 4 from Boxing Day amid fears over the spread of the new strain;
  • Experts have found the variant has already spread around the UK, with cases identified in Wales and Scotland;
  • Health chiefs in Cumbria say the variant is in the county and could be behind sharp increases in new cases;
  • Lancashire’s director of public health said there was a ‘high likelihood’ the new variant was in the county;
  • Labour says it will back any Government moves to tighten restrictions if that is what scientists recommended;
  • Sinn Fein has said an island-wide travel shutout should be introduced in Ireland to stem the variant’s spread.

Trucker’s Covid test site set up in Margate amusement park as angry lorry drivers clash with police

A deal has finally been struck with France after a ban on arrivals from the UK was imposed by President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday, which has since seen thousands of trucks stranded in Kent, unable to cross the Channel. 

The agreement requires every driver to have been tested for coronavirus, using controversial lateral flow tests, which are able to turn around results in under an hour but have had their effectiveness questioned.

However experts warned the UK still faces an uphill battle to test 6,000 drivers a day for coronavirus – with the International Road Transport Union warning even a 30-minute test would be ‘absolutely a disaster’.

Those who come back negative will be told by text message in as little as 20 minutes, and be given the green light to travel, but positive cases will get a PCR test – and if they are still positive, sent to a Covid-secure hotel to isolate.

Mr Macron had wanted lab-processed PCR tests which can take up to 72 hours before results are received. But he caved in after a third night of talks following pressure from fellow European leaders who urged a compromise.

A Whitehall source said: ‘Many of these are European lorries – there are a lot from Poland, for example – and [EU] member states have been telling France they want to get their drivers home. In the end, Macron folded.’

Until January 6, only lorry drivers and French and EU citizens or residents who have an essential reason to travel who show a negative test result less than 72 hours old will be allowed into France.

A testing site has been set up at Manston Airfield, 18 miles from Dover, but it is unclear how the thousands of drivers who parked up in the town causing two mile tailbacks and traffic gridlock last night are going to reach it. 

Another testing point was being set up today three miles away at the Dreamland amusement park in Margate.

It comes as Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick warned it may take a ‘few days’ to clear the backlog of around 4,000 lorries waiting to cross the Channel.

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The rapid test kits deliver results in 30 minutes, but there are fears the growing backlog of waiting trucks will not be cleared ahead of December 25. One testing point is being set up at the Dreamland amusement park in Margate. 

But the tests are controversial as lateral flow kits are more likely to miss people who are carrying the virus.

The stranded drivers today pleaded to be allowed home for Christmas amid fears that even with the introduction of rapid testing the backlog of drivers willl take days to clear. 

The situation has caused tensions to flare between drivers and police at the Port of Dover this morning as European hauliers asked to be able to return home to their families. 

At various times over the last 24 hours, the lorry drivers sounded their horns at the same time, Kent Live reports. 

Today hundreds of angry truckers have blockaded the A299 at Manston Airport, Kent in a mass protest. 

The drivers reportedly broke down the perimeter of the airport before stopping traffic in both directions.

One Polish driver told MailOnline: ‘We are sick of this – I’ve been in Dover for two days and want to go home for Christmas. The French said their border was being opened but we haven’t seen any evidence of this being true. 

‘There’s thousands of people queuing to get through the port and the roads are all at a standstill. Nobody wants another night sleeping in their cab.’ 

A German van driver who drove to the UK to make a delivery in Liverpool, and has been trapped in Kent since the weekend, said: ‘I would like to go back home for Christmas.’

He told BBC Radio 4: ‘At the moment it’s a catastrophe situation because I can’t go back home. I must come here to make a covid test appointment. 

The people from Manston covid test centre told me to go to Margate, and the people from Margate told me to go back to Manston again, and I really do not know what to do. 

‘I want to go back to my family for Christmas. They are waiting for me. Every family is waiting for their men (currently at Manston).’    

The drivers’ comments follow 48 hours of chaos on the south coast of England.  

Kent Resilience Forum (KRF), which includes Kent Police, Kent County Council, Highways England and the Department of Transport, said that drivers stuck on the M20 were being provided with food and drinks and that more toilets were being delivered today after a driver yesterday described the facilities in Dover as ‘not a pretty sight’ .

It said: ‘On the M20, Kent County Council continues to ensure drivers are provided with snacks, drinking water and hot food.

‘Portable toilets were rolled out Monday at 1 km intervals between junctions 10a-11 and these are being regularly cleaned.

‘A further 150 toilets are available for drivers at Manston, where there are also hot food trucks and water.’

An additional 70 toilets are arriving at Manston Airport, which is being used as a makeshift lorry park, this morning. 

But industry bosses branded the treatment of the stranded truckers ‘a disgrace’.

Richard Burnett, chief executive of the Road Haulage Association said: ‘They’re going to give drivers two litres of water every day. We need to ensure that drivers have got sufficient food and water. Kent County Council were giving cereal bars yesterday morning which was not enough.

‘The Sikh community went with takeaways last night and the Salvation Army, but the government should have had this in place.’

Burnett added that 20 takeaway food vans which were meant to be coming to Manston Airport this morning had still not arrived.

Many drivers have been without shower facilities for more than two days. 

Around 150 toilets are currently available to drivers at Manston, with 70 additional toilets due to arrive tomorrow morning, according to Kent County Council

Around 150 toilets are currently available to drivers at Manston, with 70 additional toilets due to arrive tomorrow morning, according to Kent County Council

Around 150 toilets are currently available to drivers at Manston, with 70 additional toilets due to arrive tomorrow morning, according to Kent County Council

Water is also being handed out to stranded drivers who have been unable to leave the disused airfield which has been turned into a massive car park

Water is also being handed out to stranded drivers who have been unable to leave the disused airfield which has been turned into a massive car park

Water is also being handed out to stranded drivers who have been unable to leave the disused airfield which has been turned into a massive car park

Food and water is being provided by Kent County Council to stranded truckers as they wait to go home for Christmas

Food and water is being provided by Kent County Council to stranded truckers as they wait to go home for Christmas

Food and water is being provided by Kent County Council to stranded truckers as they wait to go home for Christmas

Up to 10,000 drivers are understood to be stuck in Kent as they wait for the French border to reopen following a travel ban

Up to 10,000 drivers are understood to be stuck in Kent as they wait for the French border to reopen following a travel ban

Up to 10,000 drivers are understood to be stuck in Kent as they wait for the French border to reopen following a travel ban

Burnett warned that the queues of lorries on the M20 might not be cleared until Boxing Day.

He added: ‘I think there’s no clear picture as to how long it’s going to take, but my estimations after conversations with Grant Schapps is it could be Boxing Day.

‘Part of the issue is you’ve got restricted services on the Eurotunnel and the ferries are likely to finish tomorrow morning. The border police aren’t going to be working on Christmas day in France.

‘Bearing in mind the government has been trying to prepare for transition which is in eight days time, you would’ve expected these plans to be well rehearsed.

‘It’s an absolute disgrace that they’re not well prepared at all. It’s a scenario that could’ve happened in the case of no-deal.’

He added that Manston Airport, the main testing centre for drivers, was gridlocked with lorries.

He said: ‘The current situation is that Manston is gridlocked and Brock and Stack are in place.They’re trying to do the lateral flow tests, anything between 100 and 300 per hour. It’s more likely to be the low number than the higher number to start with.’

Burnett also said testing was now underway on the approach road to Dover for drivers who were stuck in the queue outside the port. 

Hundreds of angry truckers have blocked off the A299 at Manston Airport, Kent, this morning in a mass protest

Hundreds of angry truckers have blocked off the A299 at Manston Airport, Kent, this morning in a mass protest

Hundreds of angry truckers have blocked off the A299 at Manston Airport, Kent, this morning in a mass protest

Police are on hand at the road block as angry words have been shared between officers and protestors at the scene

Police are on hand at the road block as angry words have been shared between officers and protestors at the scene

Police are on hand at the road block as angry words have been shared between officers and protestors at the scene

The clash comes amid rising tensions in the makeshift camp as desperate truckers plead to be allowed home for Christmas

The clash comes amid rising tensions in the makeshift camp as desperate truckers plead to be allowed home for Christmas

The clash comes amid rising tensions in the makeshift camp as desperate truckers plead to be allowed home for Christmas

Drivers put their hands up in a standoff with Kent Police officers as the situation worsens as Christmas approaches

Drivers put their hands up in a standoff with Kent Police officers as the situation worsens as Christmas approaches

Drivers put their hands up in a standoff with Kent Police officers as the situation worsens as Christmas approaches

Desperate lorry drivers stranded in make shift camps at Kent's Manston airport have pleaded to be allowed home for Christmas amid fears that even with the introduction of rapid testing the backlog of drivers willl take days to clear

Desperate lorry drivers stranded in make shift camps at Kent's Manston airport have pleaded to be allowed home for Christmas amid fears that even with the introduction of rapid testing the backlog of drivers willl take days to clear

Desperate lorry drivers stranded in make shift camps at Kent’s Manston airport have pleaded to be allowed home for Christmas amid fears that even with the introduction of rapid testing the backlog of drivers willl take days to clear

Protests are turning physical as hundreds of angry drivers have locked horns with police officers in Kent

Protests are turning physical as hundreds of angry drivers have locked horns with police officers in Kent

Protests are turning physical as hundreds of angry drivers have locked horns with police officers in Kent

There are also clashes taking place at the Port of Dover this morning. The key UK port is gridlocked with drivers leaving their trucks to confront police guarding the border

There are also clashes taking place at the Port of Dover this morning. The key UK port is gridlocked with drivers leaving their trucks to confront police guarding the border

There are also clashes taking place at the Port of Dover this morning. The key UK port is gridlocked with drivers leaving their trucks to confront police guarding the border

Tensions have flared at the Port of Dover as drivers clash with police amid fears they will not be able to make it home in time for Christmas

Tensions have flared at the Port of Dover as drivers clash with police amid fears they will not be able to make it home in time for Christmas

Tensions have flared at the Port of Dover as drivers clash with police amid fears they will not be able to make it home in time for Christmas

Up to 10,000 drivers have been caught in the chaos surrounding Kent caused by the French travel ban with drivers only allowed to cross into Europe if they can produce a negative Covid test

As Operation Stack enters its third day, there is chaos in Kent as lorry drivers are being directed to Manston Airfield, where a Covid testing station has been set up for the truckers.However, the drivers are now being refused entry as the site is full and they are being told to go back on to the M20 where another testing facility will be in operation

As Operation Stack enters its third day, there is chaos in Kent as lorry drivers are being directed to Manston Airfield, where a Covid testing station has been set up for the truckers.However, the drivers are now being refused entry as the site is full and they are being told to go back on to the M20 where another testing facility will be in operation

As Operation Stack enters its third day, there is chaos in Kent as lorry drivers are being directed to Manston Airfield, where a Covid testing station has been set up for the truckers.However, the drivers are now being refused entry as the site is full and they are being told to go back on to the M20 where another testing facility will be in operation

Truckers have been left with nothing to do but wait for a Covid test in the hope they will able to cross into France and return home

Truckers have been left with nothing to do but wait for a Covid test in the hope they will able to cross into France and return home

Truckers have been left with nothing to do but wait for a Covid test in the hope they will able to cross into France and return home 

The truck backlog has led to gridlock on the roads in Kent, with fears up to 10,000 truckers could currently be stranded in kent

The truck backlog has led to gridlock on the roads in Kent, with fears up to 10,000 truckers could currently be stranded in kent

The truck backlog has led to gridlock on the roads in Kent, with fears up to 10,000 truckers could currently be stranded in kent

Despite the rapid tests, there are fears it will take days to clear the backlog of hauliers stranded at the port. 

Around 50 foreign truckers, van drivers and workers who have been stranded for days at the Kent port town walked up the gridlocked road leading up to the port shouting, whistling and protesting.

They booed at police in front of the port before a small number started pushing officers in a apparent attempt to get break through their lines.

One Romanian said in the pouring rain: ‘We have been here since Monday. We have We just want to get home!’ 

Another man was seen on his knees gesturing wildly for the border to be reopened.

The chaos continued up the M20 motoray into Dover town, where roads were gridlocked. Residential streets as far as three miles away from the Port were at a standstill at 9am today after the border reopened. 

Kent Police said in a statement: ‘Kent Police received reports in the morning of Wednesday 23 December 2020 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.

‘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.’

In their desperation, some drivers are trying to present fake negative Covid test results at the Port of Dover. 

A police officer at the scene said: ‘I understand why they are angry but they are directing their anger towards us when it’s the French authorities making the rules. 

‘They are insisting that only people who have tested negative for Covid-19 can come through. A lot of these drivers are waving fake test sheets.’ 

The desperate and angry scenes are a sharp contrast to those witnessed yesterday when drivers attempted to keep spirits high. 

One driver was seen pouring wine into cardboard drink cups before serving it to his friends, while another group enjoyed a vodka and Coke around a small Christmas tree decked with used drinks cans.

Others also attempted to take the travel chaos in their stride. One Turkish long-haul truck driver, seemingly unfazed by the mass-disruption around him, was seen tucking into a Mediterranean breakfast at a Kent truck stop off the M20. 

Long queues have formed on the M20 motorway as part of Operation Stack whilst the Port of Dover remains closed, in southern England near the Channel Tunnel and Dover

Long queues have formed on the M20 motorway as part of Operation Stack whilst the Port of Dover remains closed, in southern England near the Channel Tunnel and Dover

Long queues have formed on the M20 motorway as part of Operation Stack whilst the Port of Dover remains closed, in southern England near the Channel Tunnel and Dover

Waiting drivers are desperate to get home for Christmas where drivers say their 'families are waiting'

Waiting drivers are desperate to get home for Christmas where drivers say their 'families are waiting'

Waiting drivers are desperate to get home for Christmas where drivers say their ‘families are waiting’ 

PCR vs lateral flow Covid tests: Chaos as UK and France clash over type of testing used for truckers

The French government had previously demanded that any travellers from the UK, including truckers, take PCR tests before arriving in the country, which can take up to three days to return a result. The UK, meanwhile, insisted on quicker lateral flow tests. A statement tonight confirmed either a PCR or lateral flow test sensitive to the new variant will suffice, though the EU recommends rapid tests should be used to avoid disruption to cargo flows.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A PCR TEST AND A LATERAL FLOW? 

A PCR test can cost upwards of £180 per person, with the swab needing to be processed in a lab. 

The UK, on the other hand, favours faster tests which are not lab based and give a result within 15 minutes.

These rapid coronavirus tests, known as lateral flow tests, are ones that can be done on the spot using portable equipment.

They are faster and cheaper than lab-based PCR tests, which the government uses to diagnose people, but are less accurate. 

LATERAL FLOW TESTS ARE RAPID – BUT CAN SACRIFICE ACCURACY

In a lateral flow test a swab is used to get a sample from the person’s nose or throat and it is then processed in a small machine that tries to detect the coronavirus by mixing the sample with something the virus would react with.

If there is a reaction in the mixture it suggests that the person is carrying coronavirus. If not, they get a negative result. This process can be completed in as little as 15 minutes.

You take your own swab though a professional on site processes it through the machine.  

However, as the swabs are often taken by people themselves, the accuracy of the test could be hampered as they may not push the swab deep enough to get enough of a sample. 

Results from trials have varied wildly and show the tests perform better when the swabs are done by trained medics and worse when people do them themselves. 

PCR TESTS CAN TAKE SEVERAL DAYS TO GET RESULTS – BUT ARE MORE ACCURATE 

These lateral flow tests differ from the gold standard PCR test – known scientifically as polymerase chain reaction testing. 

PCR tests also use a swab but this is then processed using high-tech laboratory equipment to analyse the genetic sequence of the sample to see if any of it matches the genes of coronavirus.

This is a much more long-winded and expensive process, involving multiple types of trained staff, and the analysis process can take hours, with the whole process from swab to someone receiving their result taking days.

It is significantly more accurate, however. In ideal conditions the tests are almost 100 per cent accurate at spotting the virus, although this may be more like 70 per cent in the real world.

This compares to a much lower sensitivity in lateral flow tests, with a trial of one type used in Liverpool suggesting they miss around 50 per cent of the people who would test positive with PCR.

SO, WHAT IS THE BENEFIT OF LATERAL FLOW TESTING? 

Extreme accuracy may be a drawback for PCR now that so many people have been infected, however, with the tests able to detect shreds of the virus in people who recovered weeks ago and are no longer infectious, which may lead them to have to self-isolate unnecessarily.

Lateral flow tests are more likely to miss people who are carrying the virus but, experts say, do have value as a way of weeding out people carrying large amounts of the virus and therefore most likely to be spreading the disease.

The Smart Clinic, in London, charges clients £195 for a PCR test with independent lab testing. Pall Mall medical charges £129 for the same test.

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Another cooked breakfast from the back of his lorry. One driver was also spotted hanging out clothes and towels to dry on the front of his lorry.

Other furious French drivers blamed Emmanuel Macron for the chaos at Dover after his travel ban left hundreds stranded in the UK.

One French apple grower cried ‘Macron, merde! Let me come home,’ as she anxiously awaited news on plans to lift the cross-Channel travel ban 

But she and hundreds of others like her today remain stranded in the Kent port town.

Industry experts estimate that more than 10,000 lorries are being held up by the French travel ban which has caused gridlock at the port of Dover. 

Photos showed thousands of lorries parked at the disused Manston Airfield – which was previously reserved for a No Deal Brexit. 

Some fear not being able to return to their families in time for Christmas, while others have bemoaned the toilet situation for stranded drivers – with one saying ‘they are not a pretty sight’.    

The decision by France to ban freight, as well as passenger travel, caught Number 10 off guard with some officials and ministers of the view that Mr Macron is trying to use the situation as leverage in Brexit talks. 

A transport industry source told The Times that Downing Street was ‘incandescent’ when the ban was announced.

But with Highways England warning that delays could last several days, some lorry drivers fear the prospect of missing Christmas with their families. 

Ovidiu Badoiu, 47, a Romanian lorry driver who drove to Britain at the weekend to deliver a stock of fans to a factory in Telford, Shropshire, has been stuck in Dover since Monday.

He said: ‘It’s really difficult, I picked up my load in Romania and took it to the destination in the Midlands on Sunday and came down to Dover the following day where I’ve spent the last two nights sleeping in my lorry.

‘There are no toilets here, nowhere to get washed. I live in Valencia in Spain and just want to get back to my wife in time for Christmas. 

‘I think the French are being over the top about this, why are they not letting the lorries through? 

‘Hardly any of us are stopping in France, just travelling through it on to other destinations.’

One lorry driver told BBC Radio Four yesterday: ‘I feel bad, really bad, terrible in fact. 

‘We known nothing, we don’t know if we can get home to see our families for Christmas.’

On plans for lorry drivers to be tested before their return, he said: ‘It will be good, but maybe in Dover there are 1,000 to 1,500 lorries.

‘If they implement testing here then maybe it will be a good idea, but they need to start now to get to Christmas Eve.’

‘There is no words to describe this. I came on Sunday and on Sunday they decided to close it. 

‘If I knew that one day before, I would never have come here.’ 

Lorry driver Caspar Pecherzewski, from Poland, is also among the lorry drivers caught up in queues at Dover since Sunday.

The 22-year-old said: ‘We can find a toilet, at a gas station or something, but we don’t have showers and stuff.

‘No one is saying anything about how long we will be here. The police just told us to wait.

‘I think I won’t be getting paid while waiting here and my company don’t know what to say because they don’t know what to do, the ports are closed.’

He added: ‘We’re stuck here and we don’t know how long it will take, this situation. It’s really f***** up.’

Trucker Elvis Abdulcair, 43, has a shipment full of Christmas cards and presents posted from England to Romania in his van.

He fears they will not be delivered in time for the big day on December 25.

Mr Abdulcair, who is driving with colleague Daniel Dragomir, also 43, said: ‘I feel like Santa Claus with no reindeers. My sleigh is grounded. 

‘It is very bad because all these people will not have their cards and presents from their family in time for Christmas.

‘The French government is s***. They have ruined it for everyone. And for what?

‘I have been here two days now and don’t know how much longer it will go on for. I just want to go home.’

Greg Mazurek, 36, and Simon Kopanearz, 30, have been stuck near the front of the queue outside the Port since 1pm on Monday.

Mr Mazurek was less than impressed at the toilet situation. He said: ‘The bigger problem is the toilets in the city centre as there is a lot of drivers having to use them. It is not a pretty sight.’

Along with European drivers, British hauliers also face issues due to the travel ban.

Attempting to keep spirits high, one driver was today seen pouring wine into cardboard drink cups before serving it to his friends

Attempting to keep spirits high, one driver was today seen pouring wine into cardboard drink cups before serving it to his friends

Attempting to keep spirits high, one driver was today seen pouring wine into cardboard drink cups before serving it to his friends 

Another group of Romanian lorry drivers, enjoyed a vodka and Coke, wine and beers around a small Christmas tree decked with used drinks cans

Another group of Romanian lorry drivers, enjoyed a vodka and Coke, wine and beers around a small Christmas tree decked with used drinks cans

Another group of Romanian lorry drivers, enjoyed a vodka and Coke, wine and beers around a small Christmas tree decked with used drinks cans

As the chaos ensued around him, with huge queues of lorries on the M20, one resourceful Turkish long-haul truck driver (pictured) enjoyed a Mediterranean breakfast on the side of the motorway

As the chaos ensued around him, with huge queues of lorries on the M20, one resourceful Turkish long-haul truck driver (pictured) enjoyed a Mediterranean breakfast on the side of the motorway

As the chaos ensued around him, with huge queues of lorries on the M20, one resourceful Turkish long-haul truck driver (pictured) enjoyed a Mediterranean breakfast on the side of the motorway

He and his fellow truck driver sat down to breakfast at a truck stop off the M20 motorway, which leads to the Port of Dover

He and his fellow truck driver sat down to breakfast at a truck stop off the M20 motorway, which leads to the Port of Dover

He and his fellow truck driver sat down to breakfast at a truck stop off the M20 motorway, which leads to the Port of Dover

Another lorry driver, trapped waiting to be allowed back to France, was spotted hanging clothes and towels to dry on the front of his lorry

Another lorry driver, trapped waiting to be allowed back to France, was spotted hanging clothes and towels to dry on the front of his lorry

Another lorry driver, trapped waiting to be allowed back to France, was spotted hanging clothes and towels to dry on the front of his lorry

A freight driver prepares his breakfast in the back of his lorry after spending the night in the queue of trucks on the M20 motorway in Kent

A freight driver prepares his breakfast in the back of his lorry after spending the night in the queue of trucks on the M20 motorway in Kent

A freight driver prepares his breakfast in the back of his lorry after spending the night in the queue of trucks on the M20 motorway in Kent 

Truck driver Janke from Poland poses with his cooking apparatus set up in the back of his van, whilst the Port of Dover remains closed, in Dover, southern England

Truck driver Janke from Poland poses with his cooking apparatus set up in the back of his van, whilst the Port of Dover remains closed, in Dover, southern England

Truck driver Janke from Poland poses with his cooking apparatus set up in the back of his van, whilst the Port of Dover remains closed, in Dover, southern England

As many as 1,500 lorries are thought to be waiting to cross the border if and when the 48 hour restrictions are lifted. France's ban, introduced after the identification of a new Covid-19 strain in the UK, is set to end at 11pm tonight. Pictured: Polish truck driver Marcin Pastok

As many as 1,500 lorries are thought to be waiting to cross the border if and when the 48 hour restrictions are lifted. France's ban, introduced after the identification of a new Covid-19 strain in the UK, is set to end at 11pm tonight. Pictured: Polish truck driver Marcin Pastok

As many as 1,500 lorries are thought to be waiting to cross the border if and when the 48 hour restrictions are lifted. France’s ban, introduced after the identification of a new Covid-19 strain in the UK, is set to end at 11pm tonight. Pictured: Polish truck driver Marcin Pastok

A man who brought food for the lorry drivers at Manston Airport, Kent, speaks to media after being refused permission to deliver the supplies to lorry drivers who have been parked at the site as part of Operation Brock after the Port of Dover was closed

A man who brought food for the lorry drivers at Manston Airport, Kent, speaks to media after being refused permission to deliver the supplies to lorry drivers who have been parked at the site as part of Operation Brock after the Port of Dover was closed

A man who brought food for the lorry drivers at Manston Airport, Kent, speaks to media after being refused permission to deliver the supplies to lorry drivers who have been parked at the site as part of Operation Brock after the Port of Dover was closed

With talks ongoing today over a possible border testing scheme, some lorry drivers fear missing the prospect of missing Christmas with their families. Pictured: Queuing lorries parked on the M20 on the way to Dover

With talks ongoing today over a possible border testing scheme, some lorry drivers fear missing the prospect of missing Christmas with their families. Pictured: Queuing lorries parked on the M20 on the way to Dover

With talks ongoing today over a possible border testing scheme, some lorry drivers fear missing the prospect of missing Christmas with their families. Pictured: Queuing lorries parked on the M20 on the way to Dover

Long-distance lorry driver Geoff Moxham could be about to miss his first Christmas at home in 45 years after France closed its borders with Britain

Long-distance lorry driver Geoff Moxham could be about to miss his first Christmas at home in 45 years after France closed its borders with Britain

Long-distance lorry driver Geoff Moxham could be about to miss his first Christmas at home in 45 years after France closed its borders with Britain

Long-distance lorry driver Geoff Moxham could be about to miss his first Christmas at home in 45 years after France closed its borders with Britain.

The Cheltenham grandfather did not realise he was on the last ferry out of Dover until he started talking to a French member of staff who asked him how he was planning to get home.

Now, instead of putting his feet up on Christmas Eve, the dad-of-four faces being stuck at the side of the road with thousands of other drivers or driving down the motorway home.

He said: ‘I was 66 yesterday and spent my birthday on the road and I’m not planning to do the same at Christmas.’

‘I haven’t missed a Christmas at home for 45 years so I will be there even if I have to get a boat.’

HGV driver Frank could have officially retired on his 66th birthday on Sunday. 

Instead he was delivering heavy machinery to Germany for Charles Russell Transport in Deerhurst and drove on to the ferry to Calais at around 6pm on Sunday.

‘I was on the last ferry leaving the UK but I didn’t know until one of the French crew members I know wished me luck getting home.

Pictures showed workers in green jackets handing out bottles of water today. Kent County Council has been handing out cereal bars to stuck truckers

Pictures showed workers in green jackets handing out bottles of water today. Kent County Council has been handing out cereal bars to stuck truckers

Pictures showed workers in green jackets handing out bottles of water today. Kent County Council has been handing out cereal bars to stuck truckers

Drivers of freight lorries and heavy goods vehicles are illuminated by the lights inside their cabs as they are parked at a truck stop off the M20 leading to Dover

Drivers of freight lorries and heavy goods vehicles are illuminated by the lights inside their cabs as they are parked at a truck stop off the M20 leading to Dover

Drivers of freight lorries and heavy goods vehicles are illuminated by the lights inside their cabs as they are parked at a truck stop off the M20 leading to Dover

Drivers of freight lorries and heavy goods vehicles are illuminated by the lights inside their cabs as they are parked at a truck stop off the M20 leading to Dover

Drivers of freight lorries and heavy goods vehicles are illuminated by the lights inside their cabs as they are parked at a truck stop off the M20 leading to Dover

Drivers of freight lorries and heavy goods vehicles are illuminated by the lights inside their cabs as they are parked at a truck stop off the M20 leading to Dover

It comes after Dover was plunged into a second night of chaos with up to 1,500 lorries now filling the motorway, side streets and laybys in the Kent town following the travel ban

It comes after Dover was plunged into a second night of chaos with up to 1,500 lorries now filling the motorway, side streets and laybys in the Kent town following the travel ban

It comes after Dover was plunged into a second night of chaos with up to 1,500 lorries now filling the motorway, side streets and laybys in the Kent town following the travel ban

‘When I asked what he meant he said they were all finishing work and there would be no more transport back to the UK. I was completely taken aback. I couldn’t believe it. There weren’t any announcements and nobody had said anything until then.’

However he remains determined to make it home for Christmas.

He said:  ‘I’ve been married for 44 years and have four daughters and 12 grandchildren so we normally have big family Christmases. I don’t know what happening this year but my wife just called and asked if I can pick up some fresh vegetables on the way back.’

Laszlo Baliga, who was yesterday delivering food and water to those parked on Manston Airport runway, said one driver had told him the only toilet on the site was blocked.

‘No water and no toilet now – there is one toilet, but it is now blocked,’ the 51-year-old told the PA news agency.

Mr Baliga, from London, who himself is a lorry driver, said he began taking supplies to the disused airfield after Hungarian drivers posted on Facebook asking for help.

‘We have taken money from friends and gone to Asda, Tesco,’ he said. ‘This is our third time, we have already brought ready-to-eat sausages, bread, tomatoes, iceberg lettuce, coffee. Basic foods for now for the drivers.’

He said he and others have spent more than £500 on food and water for drivers inside the site.

‘When we see Hungarian drivers coming in we say stop, and the drivers take the things into the other side to give to everybody,’ he said. ‘We like to help because this is a difficult time.’ 

Pictures previously showed workers in green jackets handing out bottles of water. Kent County Council also handed out cereal bars to stuck truckers.

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  1. Awesome!

    wellsais “bigdaddym”

    By annie.. Posted May 30 2010 at 11:39 AM.

    Has any1 ntoiced da sympathetic victim look she is trying to pose in the picture? We know what ur all about luv! Giv up!!!

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