Added: Alita Burkley - Date: 19.01.2022 00:30 - Views: 21669 - Clicks: 677
By Antonia t For Mailonline. The German ambassador to the UK got stuck in gridlocked traffic today as he embarked on a mercy mission to visit stranded lorry drivers caught up in the Kent chaos. Ambassador Andreas Michaelis was heading to visit German nationals who are among the thousands of European truckers stuck in a makeshift camp at Manston airport and facing the prospect of spending Christmas trapped in their cabs in Britain.
But the high-ranking diplomat had to make do with a phone call after he got trapped in a lorry jam. He tweeted: 'Scheduled to meet up with German truck drivers. Last stretch difficult. Could not reach the airfield. Could only speak to them on the phone.
Still very difficult situation for them. Too little information.
He also thanked Kent local 'heroes' Lydia and Dave who were handing out food to truck drivers on the A Meanwhile Sikh charity members who last night delivered meals to truckers at the airport have launched a fresh appeal for food parcels. The volunteers drove 80 miles from Coventry, partly under police escort, to feed the Truck Marston wants to eat you with hot curries and pasta dishes, after they were ly given cereal bars by the local council.
The humanitarian charity has said they intend to deliver another 1, hot meals to truckers tonight and are also asking for items including juice, biscuits and Christmas treats to boost the drivers' spirits. Their appeal comes amid complaints of poor living conditions at the camp, where toilets were branded 'not a pretty sight' and many drivers have been unable to shower for more than two days. It comes after tensions boiled over this morning, with truckers desperate to get home for Christmas staging a protest, breaking down fences and blocking ro.
Nobody wants another night sleeping in their cab. A total of 3, drivers are parked up at Manston Airport, with about another 1, held in official 'traffic management operations' across Kent. But industry experts this morning estimated there are up to 10, lorry drivers spread out across the snarled-up county. Rod McKenzie of the Road Haulage Association described the situation as 'chaos' as he said the drivers are 'tired, frustrated, [and] desperately wanting to get home for Christmas.
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. The German ambassador to the UK is stuck in the backlog of lorries lining the motorways in Kent after trying to meet German citizens caught up in the Kent chaos.
Andreas Michaelis tried to visit German nationals who are among the thousands of lorry drivers stranded in Marston, Kent. The German ambassador to the UK, Andreas Michaelis, pictured left today visited the stranded truck drivers but managed to get stuck in the chaos himself.
He thanked people handing out food to desperate lorry drivers pictured right. The ambassador met people handing out food to the truckers and praised them for their selfless actions on Twitter. 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. Some of the snacks collected by the charity to be handed out by volunteers to the European truckers waiting to cross into France. The Sikh charity have made an appeal on social media asking for people to donate food to help the desperate truckers. They said they will be making 'goodie bags' to hand out to the lorry drivers and asked people to drop off treats and biscuits. 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 A Volunteers from Ramsgate FC last night made pizzas for the lorry drivers stuck at Manston Airport with no access to hot food.
A deal has finally been struck with France after a ban Truck Marston wants to eat you 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 in under an hour but have had their effectiveness questioned.
However experts warned the UK still faces an uphill battle to test 6, drivers a day for coronavirus — with the International Road Transport Union warning even a 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 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, lorries waiting to cross the Channel. The rapid test kits deliver in 30 minutes, but there are fears the growing backlog of waiting trucks will not be cleared ahead of December 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 will take days to clear. Home Secretary Priti Patel announced that the border with France was reopening around 1pm today.
She Tweeted: 'Priority is to get lorries moving and mass testing is underway. Tourist travellers who are not French residents should not travel. She added: 'My huge thanks goes to the police and Border Force who are working hard to keep everyone safe. But drivers on the ground claimed they had been given very little information. The chaotic situation caused tensions to flare between drivers and police at the Port of Dover this morning. Protests began with the lorry drivers sounding their horns at the same time, before it escalated and hundreds of angry truckers blockaded the A at Manston Airport in a mass protest.
The drivers reportedly broke down the perimeter of the airport before stopping traffic in both directions. Greg Mazurek has been trapped at Dover since Monday after delivering respirators to Truck Marston wants to eat you medical centre in Hemel Hempstead. He said: 'The police were not clearing the port to set up a testing centre, it was to let lorries out of Dover. Who do we believe. The irony is that I'm more likely to get this new Covid standing here among dozens of people than being alone in my cab which I had been before. He said he is trying to get home to spend his first Christmas with his new baby: 'We're stuck here.
No toilet, no food. But to be honest, I don't think I have any chance. 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 many other truckers were also desperate to see their families. He said: 'I want to go back to my family for Christmas. They are waiting for me. Every family is waiting for their men.
Around 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. Food and water is being provided by Kent County Council to stranded truckers as they wait to go home for Christmas. Up to 10, drivers are understood to be stuck in Kent as they wait for the French border to reopen following a travel ban.
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.
A Sikh charity in Kent is working with Khalsa Aid, who travelled 80 miles from Coventry, to deliver another 1, meals to truckers today after dishing out dinners last night. The drivers' comments follow 48 hours of chaos on the south coast of England. Kent Resilience Forum KRFwhich 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'.
A spokesman said: 'On the M20, Kent County Council continues to ensure drivers are provided with snacks, drinking water and hot food. 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, Truck Marston wants to eat you 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. Drivers gather next to the lorries parked at Manston International Airport, after EU countries imposed a travel ban from the UK following the coronavirus disease. The Department for Transport says there are currently 3, lorries parked up at the disused Marston airport. Up to 20 takeaway food vans were meant to arrive at Manston Airport this morning, but charities stepped in to feed many truckers.
Drivers were pictured queuing at a food stall at Manston International Airport, where their lorries are being held. Burnett added that 20 takeaway food vans which were meant to be coming to Manston Airport this morning had still not arrived. But Polish lorry driver Greg Baranski, 39, claimed there were just two food trucks available and drivers were having to wait around two hours in the rain for a meal.
He has been waiting at a Department for Transport-run DfT disused airfield site at Manston for the past two days and is eager to return home. He said: 'People here are from Romania, Lithuania, Spain, Portugal, and we are all really angry and hungry.
My situation is not nice. I've been waiting here for about two days, and we do not know what will happen next. We are waiting for a test for coronavirus, after when we are negative we can go to Dover and pass the channel and go back home. I'm not happy.
My family are waiting for me but probably I will be home after Christmas. Last night members of the Gravesend Gurdwara Sikh community cooked up chickpea curries and mushroom pasta dishes in just under three hours before being escorted to the airport by police. ly Kent County Council had handed out cereal bars and raced to provide more toilet facilities for the makeshift camp, while volunteers from Ramsgate FC made pizzas for the drivers.
The Salvation Army is also helping feed drivers stranded along the M20 motorway. Sikh charity KhalsaAid pledged to provide another 1, hot meals for the truckers today. The meals were prepared with help by volunteers from the Guru Nanak Darbar temple in Gravesend.
Indy Singh, 31, operations director for KhalsaAid told Mail Online: 'We are trying to bring some festive cheer to these people who are stuck there through no fault of their own. These are ordinary people just doing their jobs and trying to get home to their families. It's horrible for [the drivers], there's nothing here - no food, no shops - it's like a prison for them. We can't sit back and do nothing. The Salvation Army has also been working with the emergency services to provide welfare support for a of stranded lorry drivers caught up in severe traffic delays on the M The group was asked by Kent Truck Marston wants to eat you Council to support the police as part of Operation Stack, where freight vehicles are parked along the carriageway because of delays at Eurotunnel or the Channel ports as a result of Covid restrictions.
A small team of staff and volunteers from The Salvation Army's Kent base have been preparing and delivering bagged meals to Kent Police for distribution to drivers in need. Hundreds of lunches have been provided to those stranded so far. The Salvation Army's Territorial Emergency Response Officer Adrian Clee said: 'Our emergency response teams are well known for supporting people in times of hardship and are often called on by the emergency services to provide food, drink and support at large incidents.
Salvation Army volunteers have been pleased to roll up their sleeves to support drivers caught up in the delays. The Road Haulage Association's Mr Burnett warned that the queues of lorries on the M20 might not be cleared until Boxing Day, which would mean the truckers will be stuck on the roide on December Hundreds of angry truckers have blocked off the A 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. 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.
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. The border police aren't going to be working on Christmas day in France. 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 and per hour. It's more likely to be the low than the higher 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. Desperate lorry drivers stranded in makeshift 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 will take days to clear. Protests turned physical today as angry lorry drivers clashed with police officers at the Port of Dover.
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. Despite the rapid tests, there are fears it will take days to clear the backlog of hauliers stranded at the port.Truck Marston wants to eat you
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'Disgraceful': lorry drivers stuck at Dover tell of lack of facilities