Now my regular reader will know that I travel about this world quite a lot, so the subject of queues at Heathrow waiting to get back through passport control is a subject fairly close to my heart.
Apparently there is a target for immigration queues of 45 minutes – a frightening enough target in itself if you are the one standing in the queue but, I suppose, not unreasonable as a maximum, especially at peak traffic times.
Anyway, there is an inspectorate whose job it is to assess how well the UKBA is performing. That’s the UKBA you will recall that was recently described as ‘unfit for purpose’. They produced their figures for waiting times and these were immediately rubbished by the government.
So the official response is that the inspectors were measuring the queues in a different way and therefore waiting times were being exaggerated.
Well, there’s a simple way to sort that out, isn’t there?
I suggest that Immigration Minister, Damian Green, gets his arse down to Heathrow and sends a day there assessing the situation for himself. Simples.
In a statement, a UKBA spokesperson said: “Border Force and BAA data shows that queueing time targets for UK and EEA citizens were not breached during April. But we know at times queues have been too long. That is why we have announced an extra 80 staff for peak times at Heathrow. And it’s why we’ve also, engaged an extra 480 people to cover the Olympic period.”
Sorry guys, but the mouthwash just ain’t making it…
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