Stuck between a Rock and a hard place last Monday night. :: A.B.
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A heavily pregnant woman and children were among those left waiting in one of the longest lines for weeks
Pedestrians heading to La Línea from Gibraltar waited for almost two hours while motorists were delayed by up to three hours last Monday evening.
Queues started growing at around 4.25pm shortly after Spanish Guardia Civil officers arrived at the border.
Among those waiting in the cold conditions for several hours were children and a heavily pregnant woman.
Those leaving the Rock had their bags searched while others were frisked by the Guardia Civil.
The delays occurred during rush hour, when workers from Spain walk back across the border to La Línea after work.
This resulted in long queues snaking around the British colony’s airport, with more than a thousand people waiting at any one time.
Amy Jackson, 28, from Yorkshire, who was stuck in the queue, told SUR in English: “It’s becoming a more frequent occurrence, waiting to cross the border for more than an hour at a time. It’s a terrible way for the Spanish to treat their own citizens. I was about three people behind a heavily pregnant lady who was clearly in distress having to wait such a long time to cross the border. Children were becoming tiresome and cold. People were understandably not happy to have to be waiting around after a long day working.”
Amy, who works in the gaming industry, added: “Don’t they understand that while they are being a general inconvenience to everyone they are stopping people spending their money in Spain? When there is a queue you will always find more people flocking to bars and shops in Gibraltar. When an EU representative came over to monitor the queues - might I add this was announced - there were miraculously no queues.”
An Englishman working in Gibraltar, who was left waiting in the queue for over an hour and asked not to be named, said: “There is no need for these queues. Why do it at rush hour when everyone is going home? It’s nothing to do with cigarette smuggling and just an excuse to bully people.”
Emilio Acris, a Royal Gibraltarian Police officer, confirmed some motorists were forced to wait in their cars for up to three hours.
He added that queues for pedestrians continued until 8.30pm and that there appeared to be ‘no reason’ for the delay.
On Tuesday evening there were no queues at the border.
The UK government has complained repeatedly about the border checks saying they are disproportional. But Spain claims they are necessary to combat tobacco smuggling.