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Solving Operation Stack

January 23, 2015 10:00 AM
By Lynne Beaumont, Lib Dem Parliamentary Candidate for Folkestone & Hythe

The chaos of the last 6 days on the roads around South East Kent has been horrendous for all concerned. People stuck in traffic chaos for hours at a time. Journeys that usually take half an hour taking longer than three.

This was due to the implementation of Operation Stack: the practice of parking lorries on the M20 when there is a problem with the Channel Tunnel or the port of Dover.

This cannot be allowed to continue, and in my view, there is a very simple, and cheap way of solving the problem.

We have heard from MP's and officials over the last few days, how they are going to build lorry parks of up to 500 lorries at a time by 2017. This is not going to solve a problem that affects our area greatly, and in some cases businesses refusing to trade here for this reason.

What I propose is simple, cheap and effective. In this day and age of technology and communications, lorry drivers need to be contacted as soon as Operation Stack is going to be implemented. This can be done in the form of an Ap for a smart phone, or text message. Wherever they are in the Country, they can be reached, and given directions to the nearest service station or lorry park, where there are facilities for their use, and await instructions.

In this way, lorries will be spread across the country, in parks with facilities until the problem is solved.

99% of lorry drivers can be reached by their logistics firms any time of the day or night. Giving them the information early enough will alleviate the problem in our area, and spread widely enough, will not create a problem elsewhere.

Communication is the way forward. Cheap, effective, and will enable businesses to thrive.

Solving Operation Stack is simple. Stop it happening.