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Call for views on Stack lorry park

THE public consultation has begun on proposals to build a major lorry park near Folkestone to ease the misery of Operation Stack. The facility would be used to hold

up to 3,600 lorries heading for the Channel Tunnel and the Port of Dover via the M20 when services to France are disrupted. The consulta- tion started on Friday, August 12 and runs until September 23. The park at Stanford West would cost £250m.

Construction work is due to start

as soon as possible, with spaces available from summer 2017. Oper- ation Stack has been put in place for more than two decades, but the sit- uation became critical last summer when French ferry workers held a dispute at Calais, a situation which was compounded by migrants storming the Eurotunnel site. Stack was enforced 32 times in

that period, causing misery to the travelling public, Kent business and

residents. The effectswere felt up to Maidstone and beyond on the coast- bound carriageway.Highways Eng- land (HE) project director Adrian Sheppard said: “This is a solution to the problems caused by Operation Stack that has been talked about for decades, but on which we have madea great deal of progress in less than a year. Following consultation earlier this year, we have been working hard to refine our plans and are keen to hear what people think.” It is claimed Stanford West, a

small village in the heart of a rural community, will minimise the im- pact on the M20 and on the region’s other roads. There is likely to be fierce local opposition to the project. After receiving strong support during the previous consultation, Highways England is exploring whether to use the site to provide overnight lorry parking to stop lor- ries parking on roads not intended for their use.

Parked truckersmoved on

MORE than 2,000 drivers have been moved on after parking their lorries on motorway slip roads and the hard shoulder at problem hotspots, including junction 8 on the M20 near Maidstone. HGVs are being targeted by Kent Police and Highways England officers

in a bid to stop the unsafe and illegal practices of some long-distance driv- ers who pull in near the motorway to take rest breaks. Reports confirm more than 2,200 were dealt with for parking il- legally in nine months to August. Chief


Amanda Tillotson, from Kent Police, said: “Many drivers are now starting to plan their journeys better, compared to what we were seeing at the beginning of this year. But we are still finding some lorries parked unsafe and illegally in places not suitable for any vehicle to park for a rest break.” The M20 junction 8, 11 and 13, theM2Farthing Corner services near Stock- bury, the A2 near Cobham and Canterbury, and the A20 at Capel-le-Ferne were also described as regular problem parking areas. Of drivers tackled, 416 were fined, eight vehicles were immobilised until they paid, and 445 were moved on; another nine traffic offence reportswere generated. The police say their message remains clear: “Illegal and unsafe parking

on Kent’s roads will not be tolerated. The hard shoulder is not for rest breaks – it is for broken down vehicles and the emergency services.”

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