Lorry drivers hit with £32,000 in fines since end of Brexit transition period

Lorries queue to enter The Port of Dover in Kent as the clock ticks down on the chance for the UK to

Lorries queue to enter The Port of Dover in Kent as the clock ticks down on the chance for the UK to strike a deal before the end of the Brexit transition period on December 31. - Credit: PA

Lorry drivers passing through Kent have been issued with more than £32,000 in fines since the end of the Brexit transition period.

Under the new Brexit deal that came into effect on January 1, hauliers must have the correct permit to enter Kent on their way into mainland Europe.

However, scores of drivers have not, while others breached traffic orders by trying to take shortcuts to skip queues, leading to 113 fines and £32,100 worth of fines being issued by January 6.

Drivers also required a negative Covid test to enter France.

Police said at least 84 enforcement notices had been issued to drivers entering the county without a Kent Access Permit (KAP).

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Assistant Chief Constable Claire Nix: "Although the volume of freight leaving the UK is typically low at this time of year, the total number of fines issued is still a small percentage of the freight movements that have already been carried out."

There were concerns Kent would see a repeat of the disruption that followed the closure of the border due to the new coronavirus variant.

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French president Emmanuel Macron shut the Eurotunnel for 48 hours on December 20, leaving, at one stage, about 5,000 lorries piled up on Kent roads and at Manston airport.

The KAP - unofficially dubbed the Kermit after the famous Muppet character - is to confirm drivers have correct documents for EU import controls before they reach Kent.

Each permit lasts 24 hours and HGV drivers need a new one each time they travel through Kent to the Port of Dover or Eurotunnel and on to the EU.

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