A heroic dad travelled more than 300 miles to track down a missing passport in a last-ditch attempt to help save a family holiday.
Ian Williams, from Taunton in Somerset, went on a special mission to get his hand’s on his daughter’s passport after it failed to turn up.
The frustrated dad, who had renewed both his passport and his daughter’s at the same time, saw his arrive on April 29 – just eight days after renewing.
However, his daughter’s did not arrive.
And after waiting the full 10 weeks advised in Government guidance, he contacted the passport office.
Ian was told they would escalate the issue – but this would take a further two weeks.
But as Ian and his daughter are travelling to the Philippines in the next few weeks to visit family, which had been planned for three years, he was scared the backlog would mess up his trip.
Having seen stories of families waiting months for their passports due to the backlog, Ian was determined to find his daughter’s passport.
He drove a staggering 300 miles overnight from Taunton to Durham which took over seven hours – arriving at the passport office on the morning of Friday, July 22.
Ian was amazed to see a queue already forming outside the office but admits the lengthy trip was his only option – despite not having an appointment.
At some point the passport even inexplicably turned up in Liverpool, according to Mr Williams.
He told ITV News : “When we applied it was sent to Liverpool now for some reason it is in Durham.
“People in the queue are desperate for their passports. Some are going on holiday on Monday. They have no answers.
“All you get when you phone up is ‘we will contact you within 72 hours’ but they never phone you.”
However, with delays and backlogs expected for millions of holidaymakers, the passport office warned people to apply with plenty of time to spare.
An HM Passport Office spokesperson said: “Between March and May, we processed approximately three million applications, with 97.7 per cent of applications processed within that timeframe in the first half of the year.
“We cannot compromise security checks and people should apply with plenty of time prior to travelling.”
The Commons Home Affairs Committee was told there were over 550,000 passports waiting to be processed with at the end of June.
It also takes around 10 weeks to process applications instead of the standard three weeks.