Britain and France announced plans to prevent further border chaos.

In a joint statement on Friday, Phil Douglas, director general of border services, and Brigitte Lafourcade, deputy director general of the Police Aux Frontieres, said the two countries were “working closely together” to ensure smooth traffic.

It comes after tens of thousands of families saw their journeys across the English Channel disrupted by gridlock and hours of delays last weekend due to shortages French border guards and a serious accident on the M20 which coincided with the school holidays.

Mr Douglas and Ms Lafourcade said: “France and the UK have worked closely together in recent days to prepare to manage our shared border through the current period of increased passenger traffic.

“Border Police and UK Border Services, in partnership with port operators, have developed plans at adjacent control points on both sides of the Channel this weekend to maximize passenger traffic.

Authorities were working “around the clock” to clear both freight and tourist traffic in Dover, the port said (Andrew Matthews/PA)

(PA Wire)

“France and the UK will continue to work closely together to keep freight and passenger traffic flowing across the Channel throughout the summer and beyond.”

The Cabinet of Ministers said earlier on Friday that British and French officials had regularly discussed the travel chaos this week.

They have now set up a new “UK-French Technical Working Group on Passenger Transport” which will meet every week over the summer to prevent further disruption for passengers traveling on both sides of the Channel.

Traffic control was also put in place to keep the roads passable Dover and Folkestone, according to the Cabinet Office.

Earlier on Friday, several major roads across the UK were hit with traffic jams, affecting holidaymakers heading to the south and south west of England.

This coincided with the first days of school summer holidays in England and Wales, the rail strike, the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham and the start of the Football League season in England.

Drivers traveling in and around Kent are advised to plan ahead as this weekend is likely to be very busy

National highways

The AA has issued its first ‘amber traffic warning’ for Friday and Saturday between 11am and 3pm.

Much of the M25 was congested, while traffic was congested on the south-westbound M5.

Congestion was also slow on the westbound sections of the M4 towards Bristol, the M55/M6 junction near Preston, Lancashire, the M42 east of Birmingham, the M60 and M62 in Manchester and the A64 in York.

However, fears of a repeat of last week’s horrific delays on roads approaching the port of Dover and Folkestone have proved unfounded.

Operations were much smoother at Dover and Folkestone on Friday, with P&O Ferries saying there were “no queues at border control and traffic flowing freely through the port”.

Port of Dover chief executive Doug Bannister said on Thursday that French border controls would be “fully resourced”, which would make a “fundamental difference”.

From Thursday to Sunday, the port expects to receive about 140,000 passengers, 45,000 cars and 18,000 trucks.

National Highways, which manages England’s motorways and major A roads, said: “Drivers traveling in and around Kent are advised to plan ahead as this weekend is likely to be very busy.

“Operation Brock contraflow remains in place on the M20 and is part of a series of measures to increase Kent’s resilience and ensure smooth traffic across the region should services across the Channel be disrupted.”

Jack Cousens, head of travel policy at the AA, said: “While this heavy traffic is disappointing for many, those working in the UK tourism industry should be delighted that so many are looking to spend their holidays at home and explore the best that Britain has to offer .

“The only shining light has been the South East, where there are virtually no delays in Dover and Folkestone.

“However, it will be even busier tomorrow, so drivers who are going to hit the road should be prepared to stop.

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