Plans for a new lorry park in Kent to ease the disruption caused by Operation Stack will provide much-needed facilities for truck drivers and end road chaos for residents and businesses, according to the Freight Transport Association (FTA).
Highways England has today launched a consultation on two sites near junction 11 of the M20 at Stanford that could be used as an emergency facility when there are delays at the Port of Dover or Eurotunnel terminal. The chosen site may also have the additional benefit of a permanent lorry park as well as accommodating the Dover TAP – the system which avoids lorries queueing through the town when the Port of Dover is full.
The M20 was closed for 28 days this summer during disruptions to Channel crossings, causing chaos on Kent’s roads on leaving truck drivers stranded on the motorway for hours with no facilities.
Natalie Chapman, FTA’s Head of Policy for London and the South East, said: “Kent desperately needs overnight facilities for lorry drivers to reduce the problem of trucks parking in villages and residential areas. We would urge Highways England to act quickly and consider providing a day-to-day facility for drivers that can also be used in emergencies instead of the Dover TAP and Operation Stack.
“Being stuck on the motorway in a slow-moving queue plays havoc with drivers’ hours and rest breaks so a dedicated waiting area is vital, but it’s also important that the lorries can be moved in and out of the lorry park to access the port and Eurotunnel when spaces are available so that ferries and trains are filled to capacity.”
The Chancellor announced £250m funding for a solution to Operation Stack in his Autumn Statement. Highways England’s proposal would create parking for at least 3,600 trucks and consultation continue until 25 January.
Full details of the consultation can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/management-of-freight-vehicles-through-kent