News > Bad weather blamed for queues at passport control
Image: Greg Lundeen
The UK government has blamed the country's notorious weather for long queues through immigration at airports in recent days. According to the immigration minister, Damian Green, the recent bad weather led to the problems faced by the Border Force at Heathrow airport, as flights were disrupted by the storms. Mr Green said that poor weather had led to flights bunching, which caused a sudden influx of passengers at the same time.
However Chris Bryant, shadow immigration minister, said 'these figures show the government hasn't given the Border Force enough resources to do the job properly and is displaying utter incompetence. They can't blame it on the weather when there were 107 breaches of their target in the first 15 days of April.' And John Spellar, a former Labour transport minister, accused the Government of blaming 'the wrong sort of rain.'
Mike Carrivick, chief executive of the Board of Airline Representatives in the UK, said that 'London is a global city and Heathrow is a global gateway and it is up to all of us to make it work. Peaks and troughs are an everyday of major airports. Aircraft are subject to weather conditions daily whether it is a headwind which delays you or a tailwind that brings the flight in early.'
The queues through immigration at Heathrow airport have raised concerns about how the Border Force will cope with an increased influx of passengers during the Olympics. Let's hope the weather doesn't add to their problems.