It’s been revealed that fines totalling more than £30,000 have been issues to truck drivers in Kent in 2021.

The majority of the £32,100-worth of penalties have been for not having a Kent Access Permit (KAP). The permits last 24 hours and help manage traffic by ensuring drivers have the right documents for EU travel.

Other drivers were found to have breached traffic orders such as attempting to bypass queues or taking other shortcuts.

The first week of January saw 84 enforcement notices issued to drivers in the county without the relevant paperwork. 

In total, by yesterday morning, 113 fines had been issued to hauliers.

“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,” commented assistant chief constable Claire Nix, from Kent Police.

“Whilst it is still very early days it is encouraging to note that a high percentage of lorry drivers are coming into Kent with a negative Covid-19 test result, which is currently required to travel to France – and a Kent Access Permit,” she added.

Nix urged drivers to comply to with the documentation requirements, saying that truck volumes will rise “significantly” over the next few weeks.

Elsewhere, in Holyhead, UK-Ireland truck traffic volumes have dropped to around one-third of the usual capacity. Port operator Stena revealed that the UK’s second largest port had doubled its ferry service between France and Ireland.

Ian Davies, head of UK ports for Stena admitted that it was cheaper and quicker to travel through the UK. But concern about disruption, delays and increased paperwork had made drivers think otherwise.

Stockpiling ahead of 31 December and trade deal uncertainty were cited as reasons for the drop in traffic volumes.