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Getting to Dover

Guest adhple

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Guest adhple


Have you recently got through the Operation Stack on the M20 to catch a ferry to France, I going next week and was wondering how to get there without getting stuck


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Guest Joe90
Brian Kirby - 2015-07-29 2:43 PM


It would help to know which direction you are coming from, and whether to tunnel or port.


Do they run ferries from the tunnel yet :D


To the Op, just avoid the M20, or follow the diversions if stack is in operation, but allow a good deal of extra time to reach Dover


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Then, as Rupert suggests, take M2 via Canterbury, instead of M20. You will approach Dover from the north and curl down off the cliffs just by the port entrance.


Relying on the diversions around stack is likely to prove a bit fraught. Kent police told me that stack usually operates between junctions 8 (Maidstone East), and 9 (Ashford West). However, if delays persist it is extended junction by junction as far down as junction 11, which is the one before the tunnel exit, and could exceptionally also be extended back toward London.


They make the decision when truck traffic exceeds the rate of boarding, so it is a fluid situation that can vary by the hour in response to circumstance.


The standard diversion is published on the Kent police website, mainly running via the A20, but as this has to take the displaced non-truck traffic as well its normal traffic, delays can be severe. In addition, the loop back via the A20 from junction 12 to junction 11A (the tunnel exit) is currently unusable due to roadworks by Eurotunnel (details on their website). In short, access to Dover (or the tunnel) via the M20 is a variable mess, and the best plan is to avoid it if at all possible.


P&O say they are currently running a normal service, and expect to be able to continue doing so - providing the My Ferry strikers don't again block the port entrance, as they did a couple of weeks back.


DFDS are operating to Dunkirk only, but are quite heavily booked around mid-day. They are currently unable to operate to Calais, as the My Ferry vessels are still occupying their berths.


The tunnel is prone to random delays and cancellations, as the strikers and the would-be migrants circle around the terminal looking for new ways to disrupt the service, or to get in.


Chaos rules, and it seems likely to continue for a while. Best to avoid the short crossings if you can, or to prioritize P&O Dover - Calais if the western crossings don't appeal.


BTW, P&O said they are recommending returning traffic to access the port via the town, rather than via the eastern bypass (Rocade Est), to by pass the migrant hot spots on the approach. I assume they mean via the D119, but I have no further details. Presumably they are giving this advice on board, or sending it with tickets. The route looks OK for motorhomes, but will inevitably be that bit slower.

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This is a good thread.


While the current situation persists, I would urge all members who have travelled through the Dover/Folkestone/Calais route to post their experiences on this forum asap in order to keep all of us up-to-date on the situation.


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I Live near Maidstone.


The situation is changing day by day.


Stay away from the M20 south of Maidstone.

Also the A20 and Ashford is grid locked at busy times due to Stack.

So Dover go Via M2/A2 IMO.


Friends yesterday took a day trip to France via P&O Went via Sittingbourne and queued so long at Dover with a booked crossing they missed their ship.

Reason was no dedicated pre booked lane and people lane hopping to get on a crossing without a reservation.

P&O filling their boots because of the tunnels.

Trip back was far less stressful and they drove straight on.

Hope that helps?


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