The Dartford Tunnel remains closed this evening due to a large group of more than 3,000 Kent residents trying to enter Essex illegally earlier today.
Although the problem has been managed for the last few months with upgraded security measures, Dartford Tunnel staff have been under increased pressure lately after the rumours that Essex primary schools have a superior 11+ pass rate to their Kent counterparts, and a number of anonymous would-be county migrants have INFORMALLY told Southend News Network that the upcoming KFC Drive-Thru in Rochford is also driving numbers of people to dangerously try and walk through the Dartford Tunnel.
However, residents of Essex have been quick to condemn the heavy-handed tactics of security staff who are keeping them from entering the county, and a humanitarian campaign has already gathered thousands of MyWaitrose cards to ensure that those who do make it across can access a single complimentary Tea or Coffee per day – although a small snack purchase will be necessary if they choose to sit down with their drink in a café.
Local traffic control officials have pleaded for calm, and they have also told drivers to be prepared for very long delays at the crossing – at the time of publishing this article the average journey from Dartford to the Thurrock Services was taking around 21 hours. With a large number of drivers looking for an alternative route, the Blackwall Tunnel has also implemented strict controls and vehicle searches.
Traffic across the Dartford Bridge into Kent continues to flow normally, but this situation is being monitored closely after the announcement that Europe’s largest Hungry Horse may be opening in Gravesend.