Port of Dover to reclaim land from sea in effort to reduce wait times at border

Wed 6 Sept 2023
Posted by: Phillip Adnett
Trade News

Port of Dover

The Port of Dover is reportedly reclaiming land from the sea in an effort to lessen the effect of post-Brexit checks at the border.

Port CEO Doug Bannister told the BBC that dredging the land would create more space to process passengers.

Since Brexit, passengers travelling to the EU via Dover and other ports have faced border checks.

Over the last few summers, both tourist and freight traffic have experienced long waits when transiting the border, with delays of up to five hours being reported on particularly busy days.


Bannister said that plans already existed to reclaim land in the port’s western docks for cargo use. He aims to speed up the project so the new area can be used to hold passengers when the EU’s Entry/Exit System (EES) starts next year.

The cost of accelerating the project is estimated at £2m.

EES was supposed to be introduced this November, but the deadline for implementation has been moved back to 2024, as reported by the IOE&IT Daily Update.

Delay welcomed

At the time, tourism and leisure bosses welcomed news of the delay, which would have seen extra biometric checks and a flat €7 fee for non-EU travellers entering the EU.

The Telegraph reported that EES is expected to double wait times at the border.

Other operators, such as Eurotunnel's owner Getlink, are also trialling new methods to mitigate possible delays caused by the EU’s new border system.

Dover’s passenger numbers have recovered after a pandemic-era slump. On 29 July, the Port of Dover experienced its busiest day since before the Covid outbreak, with 800 cars arriving every hour at peak times, according to the Guardian.