Queues at airport to be slashed as Rishi Sunak confirms £628million for digital overhaul at border

BRITAIN'S creaking borders have been handed a £628 million upgrade to slash waiting times.

The Chancellor confirmed he will plough millions into a new digital travel pass scheme to boost security and slash airport queues.


Rishi said the creation of a "world-leading border" is key to Britain's newfound status as a global trading nation.

The current patchwork of tourist visa rules will be replaced with a single Electronic Travel Authorisation system.

Under the US-style scheme everyone coming to the UK will pay for a travel pass and fill out a security questionnaire.

It will mean authorities can keep a much closer eye on who enters and leaves the country in real time.

Officials will start to roll out the scheme in 2023 and it's set to be fully up and running by the end of 2025.

Heathrow airport passengers have faced huge queues this summer after the e-gates at the repeatedly broke down.

Travellers have been posting images of long queues on social media while others were being held on planes due to the congestion.

George Zarkadakis, who arrived at Heathrow this morning, wrote on Twitter: "System for scanning passports is down (again). Expected time of waiting for arriving passengers: 2-4 hours."

Last month passenger Thomas de Lucy tweeted: "Not only are we waiting for two hours at passport control but Heathrow staff are all incredibly rude, shouting at people and ignoring others.

"Maybe a supervisor should be on hand to control staff behaviour."

E-gates – managed by Border Force – allow travellers with biometric passports to pass through border control without a manual inspection.

There are currently approximately 270 e-gates across the UK which allow faster travel across the border.

In September after the e-gates stopped working across Heathrow, Manchester and Edinburgh, resulting in five hour queues and people even fainting.

However, travellers have seen huge queues at UK airports since the summer, as other problems included a lack of Border staff and more Covid travel checks being required.

An increase in travellers has also put the airports under more pressure.

Sun-starved British families are flocking to airports following major changes to the travel rules which has seen the green and amber lists scrapped.

Holiday bookings rocketed to three times the normal rate in a mad scramble to nab getaways after the amber list and expensive PCR tests were scrapped.

    Source: Read Full Article