Easter port delay warning

Long delays on the roads after vehicle breaks down in Hilsea

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FERRY companies have warned that delays at Portsmouth International Port could worsen during the Easter break because of staff shortages.

On Wednesday, 11 airlines wrote to Home Secretary Theresa May to say they were facing potential gridlock at peak travel times because there were too few border staff for full security checks.

Now, local ferry operators have contacted Portsmouth South MP Mike Hancock to raise similar concerns.

In a letter to the chief executive of the UK Border Agency, Rob Whiteman, Mr Hancock wrote: ‘Many of our customers are complaining about the length of time they are waiting to clear immigration.

‘Having disembarked from the ship they are in some instances having to wait for an hour and a half.’

He added: ‘We are coming up to the Easter period and the ferry operators themselves have raised with me their concerns.’

In reply Carole Upshall, director of the border force for south and Europe wrote that they were looking into alternative arrangements to cut down on port delays.