News Brock onway, deal or no deal

A CONTROVERSIAL contra- flow system for theM20 is to be installed by February next year – Brexit deal or no deal. AsDownsMail revealedin June,

a semi-permanent solution to the expected problemofmoving huge volumes of freight to and fromthe Channel ports will be in place be- forewithdrawal fromthe EU. Our revelations were confirmed

by the office of DoverMP Charlie Elphicke, who was told in ameet- ing with the transport minister Jesse Norman on November 27 steel barrierswill go in on theM20. OperationBrockwill see theM20

become a holding area for 2,000 freight unitswhile diverting traffic into the London-bound side. We understand most of the mo-

torway is to have a 50mph limit andManstonAirport is still on the table as a lorry park.There have been concerns about its distance fromthe Port of Dover and Chan- nel Tunnel and the unsuitability of connecting roads to Thanet. A statement fromMr Elphicke’s

office states: “They discussed the plans for the contraflowsystembe-

Transportminister Jessie Norman (centre, seated) at themeeting

tween junctions 8 and9 of theM20, known asOperation Brock. “The proposals would create

2,000 on-road lorry holding spaces on the coast-bound carriageway. “It was confirmed that plans to

erect steel barriers along the Lon- don-bound carriageway for the contraflowwill go ahead in Febru- ary, deal or no deal.” Kent County Cllr Rob Bird, the

Liberal Democrat leader at county hall, said: “Were the UK to crash out of theEUinMarch next year in a no deal Brexit, it is necessary for all the authorities to take steps to minimise the chaos that is expected

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on ourmotorways. Kent will very rapidly turned into a lorry park." The meeting was attended by

Port of Dover, Kent Police, Thanet MP Sir Roger Gale, Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Scott and KCC leader Paul Carter. They were joined by KCC Cllr

NigelCollor, a former portworker and Dover transport expert, and Highways England’s John Kerner, who is in charge of Operation Brock”. Mr Elphicke said: “If the EU

seeks to cause queues atDover and Calais in the event of no deal, we need keep local roads clear.”


ROADworks on local highways are likely to be suspended before and after Britain'swithdrawal fromthe EUnextMarch. According to reports, Highways

England bosses have told utility companiesworks cannot be car- ried out between February 1 and April 30. This is to ease pressure on roads surrounding theM20. Eleven routeswill be “road-

work- free” tominimise disrup- tion: A249M20 toM2 A229M20 toM2 A20 Ashford (J9) toM20 J8 A20 Ashford (J10M20) to J11 Highways England said con-

struction of the £104mJ10a in Ashfordwill carry on. A spokesman said: “We are

working hard to coordinate this projectwithwork elsewhere on theM20. There is no indication that progress on the junctionwill be affected bywork to improve the resilience of Kent’s roads to cross-channel disruption.”

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