Cllr Trevor Bartlett, Leader of Dover District Council has written an open letter warning of more possible congestion over the coming weekend.

He wrote: “This weekend (8-10 April) is again likely to be challenging on the local road network.  With P&O Ferries still not operating from Dover, the port will be under severe pressure throughout the busy Easter getaway.

“It would be remiss of me not to warn you to expect, and prepare for, some disruption again this weekend.  But I have made it clear to the Kent Resilience Forum, Kent Police and Kent County Council that we will not tolerate another weekend of gridlock in Dover.

“For too long, local residents and businesses have had to endure disruption and quite frankly, deserve better.

“We share your concerns about the impact of gridlock on local businesses, and access to vital health and social care for our most vulnerable residents.  And many are rightly worried about how the emergency services would be able to respond to a major incident when all routes into the town are effectively cut off.

Keeping Dover clear must be the top priority.

“That means prompt and effective action to keep key junctions and roundabouts clear, and rigorous enforcement to penalise HGV drivers jumping the queue by using Dover town centre as a rat run.

“We will be monitoring the situation closely throughout the weekend and I will not hesitate to authorise DDC Officers to declare a major incident if we see signs of the sort of congestion witnessed last weekend.  Declaring a major incident would force the issue and trigger a more robust response.

“Finally, I want to assure you that we are applying pressure at the highest levels for a long-term solution.  Together with our local MP and the Leader of Kent County Council, I met with the Roads Minister on Monday.

“We were united in calling for more investment in Dover to ensure that our road network is fit for purpose, both for local residents and businesses and as the nation’s Gateway.”

By Ed

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