Dover MP slams M20 contraflow traffic 'solution' as Operation Brock is launched

Contributed by editor on Mar 26, 2019 - 12:05 PM


The much heralded new traffic management system on the M20 between Maidstone and Ashford has been slammed by the MP for Dover and Deal, Charlie Elphicke.

New measures, known as Operation Brock, which it is hoped will improve Kent’s resilience when services across the English Channel are disrupted were tested for the first time yesterday 25 March.

In November 2017 the Government announced that, alongside ongoing work to find a permanent solution for Operation Stack, Highways England would take forward interim alternatives for Operation Stack which would keep the M20 open in both directions.

Operation Brock queues lorries bound for mainland Europe on the coastbound M20 and uses a contraflow on the London-bound carriageway to enable other traffic to travel in both directions between Maidstone and Ashford.

Under the new arrangements, in addition to the M20 contraflow lorries can be routed to Manston Airfield and, if needed, the M26 motorway can be closed and used to queue HGVs.

But MP for Dover and Deal, claimed Operation Brock is just kicking the can down the motorway.

“This is not a solution. A contraflow system should be better at keeping traffic flowing when there are delays – but I have serious concerns, he said.

“It is yet another section of the M20 with a reduced speed limit. The coastbound side is now 30mph and for freight only, which is pointless during normal conditions.

“Meanwhile using Manston Airport is a bad idea. It’s a long way from the port and lorries will be expected to use single lane carriageways to get there.

“That’s why this project is just kicking the can down the motorway. I want to see proper investment – in lorry parks and a dualled A2. It’s been needed for years, regardless of Brexit.”

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