Queues outside Glasgow passport office as families desperate not to miss out on holidays
Travellers queued outside Glasgow passport office this week in a bid to beat the nationwide backlog.
Applicants were pictured outside the building in Cowcaddens as families across the country count the cost of the crisis in lost holidays.
Other offices in Durham, Liverpool, Peterborough, London, Newport and Belfast are equally busy trying to cope with demand.
The usual wait for a passport is around five weeks, but the lead time has been increased on HM Passport Office website to 10 weeks as officials struggle to keep up with demand.
Some people have chosen to cut the wait time and pay extra for an in-person appointment at one of the seven UK offices, including Glasgow.
One desperate applicant said: "We travelled from Glasgow to Durham so that my boyfriend could get his passport before going to Seville.
"It was an absolute shambles. A guy behind me drove five hours in order to get his passport. It shouldn't be necessary."
Even when passports have been printed, many travellers say they are facing a long wait for the document to arrive because courier TNT UK has struggled to keep up with demand.
The Passport Office has hired 500 additional workers and contracted extra couriers after furious UK Government ministers described the current performance as "unacceptable".
Speaking to BBC Scotland, Marion McDonald from Drumchapel in Glasgow said: "I've waited 16 weeks, I've got over 150 hours of telephone calls, I've sent emails every second day to every passport office upgrade team, I've even sent to the chief executive officer, I've sent a complaint in. I'm getting absolutely nowhere.
"I really need to speak to somebody from the examiner's team to find out why our child's passport is still sitting with an examiner 16 weeks down the line.
"Nobody can tell us when we're going to get it."
People have also taken to social media in an attempt to get answers.
One wrote: "Still waiting on renewal passport been past to pillar to post last five days? Also been cut off four times from your upgrades team in Glasgow."
Another added: "Home office Glasgow office, passport service is ridiculous, literally I apply for my son passport on January 11 and no progress."
However, passport officials insist the majority of travellers are getting their new documents on time despite claims the system is in meltdown.
It comes as an estimated five million people put off applying for passports during the pandemic.