As the half-term and Platinum Jubilee breaks come to a close, the Brock contraflow was scheduled for its removal from the M20 carriageway last night Sunday (5 June), Kent Resilience Forum (KRF) leaders confirmed on Friday, 3 June.
The traffic scheme used to manage the flow of freight heading across the Channel via Eurotunnel and Port of Dover has been in place since P&O ferry services were initially suspended over two months ago.
The move will allow National Highways to resume essential safety works to permanently relocate the barrier that forms the coastbound contraflow at the heart of Operation Brock, between Junctions 8 (Maidstone) and 9 (Ashford), from the hard shoulder to the central reservation.
Simon Jones, Kent Resilience Forum Strategic Lead, said: “KRF partners promised our residents, businesses and hauliers we would keep the use of Brock under continual review and remove it as soon as it was practical to do so. With the half-term and Jubilee holidays now coming to an end we are able to safely deliver on our pledge.
“Our county is a major gateway to Europe and cross-Channel traffic levels have returned to pre-pandemic levels.
“We will continue to work together and use traffic management, our current best available option, to do everything we can to keeping Kent moving, and open for business, and communities protected from the worst impacts of disruption. As always, I thank everyone for their continued patience.”
The barrier relocation works, including an extensive drainage upgrade for the central reservation for the 13-mile stretch between Junctions 8 and 9, plus new signage, are set to continue at least until early next year. The project also requires the current 50mph speed limit to stay in place on both carriageways.
Nicola Bell, Highways England Regional Director, said: “Storing the moveable barrier on the M20 London-bound hard shoulder was only a temporary measure. Moving the structure to the central reservation will allow the hard shoulder between Ashford and Maidstone to be re-instated to its original width.”
To avoid leaving things to chance, Kent Resilience Forum partners continue to advise people driving in or through Kent to always be prepared by following simple steps including:
- CHECKING your route before travelling
- ALLOWING extra time to get to your destination, and
- PACKING your car with essentials, including food, something to drink and any medicines you need to take regularly, in case of delays
For where to go for the latest Kent traffic and travel news visit: Check before you travel – Kent County Council
For further information about Operation Brock go to: nationalhighways.co.uk/travel-updates/operation-brock
For more details about the Kent Resilience Forum partnership see the Kent Prepared website