Extra staff have been drafted in to deal with a jump in demand for passports – as another Bradford family faced a stressful race against time to go on holiday.
Karen Wright is the latest in a line of people from the district that have experienced problems getting their travel documents back from the passport office.
Local MPs Philip Davies, Mike Wood and Gerry Sutcliffe say they have been inundated with calls from people worried they were going to have to cancel travel plans – but the Home Office claims there is no backlog.
The passport office has admitted bringing in extra staff and operating seven days a week – but added it has been processing more than 95 per cent of passport applications with target turnaround times.
A spokesman for the passport office said: “We have been experiencing an early summer peak in demand for passports, which seems to be in part due to the improving economy and a rise in holiday bookings.
“We have brought in extra staff to respond to the extra demand, we are operating seven days a week and our couriers are delivering passports within 24 hours of being produced.
“There is no backlog. We have issued three million passports to customers in the UK since the start of the year, more than one million since the start of April, more than 95 per cent of which were processed within our target turnaround times.
“We would remind people of our existing advice to customers – allow plenty of time when applying for a new or renewed passport as a passport will not be issued until the necessary security checks have been done.
“And do not book your travel until you have received your passport.”
Mrs Wright, of Holme Wood, is scheduled to take her grandchildren to Benidorm on Tuesday as part of a trip for her sister’s 70th birthday. It was also to give the youngsters a break from their mum Kelly’s battle with cancer and to give her some respite, too.
She applied for a renewal passport for 11-year-old Lewis, and new ones for Harvey, six, and Emily, four, on April 29.
Mrs Wright, who said Harvey and Emily’s dad died three years ago – at the same time as their mum was diagnosed with cancer – meant to apply for the passports in January. However, she got sidetracked when Kelly took a turn for the worse and spent the next three months in and out of hospital.
“The passports were the last thing on my mind,” said Mrs Wright.
It was only after the Telegraph & Argus intervened that the family received a call late yesterday to say Mrs Wright could collect the passport tomorrow.
She said: “This is a once-in-a-lifetime trip, with the aim to provide their mother with some much-needed respite as she is currently battling cancer and is receiving ongoing chemotherapy treatment.”
Rachael Delaney, of Queensbury, waited six weeks for five-year-old daughter Zara’s passport to arrive and cruise ship singer Louise George, of Baildon, missed out on a contract with a cruise liner when her passport failed to arrive on time.