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Operation Stack: consultation on new lorry area launches today

December 11, 2015 9:47 AM

Proposed locations of proposed new lorry parks near the M20 to combat Operation Stack (Public sector photo licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0 [from https://www.gov.uk/government/news/operation-stack-consultation-on-new-lorry-area-launches-today])Proposals for a major new lorry area that would help improve Kent's resilience when services across the English Channel are disrupted have been announced today.

Two potential sites near the M20 have been identified for the lorry area, along with four broad ways it could be used. Each option would help to prevent the need for the M20 to be closed when there is disruption to cross-channel services.

A Highways England consultation seeking public views on the proposals launches today and runs until midnight on Monday 25 January.

Roads Minister Andrew Jones said:

The government's long-term plan is to find a solution for the hardworking people of Kent so they can continue to travel around the area freely, even when there is disruption to cross Channel services. A new lorry area will ease congestion as well as help the road haulage companies to operate more effectively.

Highways England Asset Manager for Kent, Kevin Bown said:

Summer 2015 saw the longest deployment of Operation Stack in its history, and underlined the need for long term improvements for dealing with cross channel disruption. A lorry area could help significantly reduce the likelihood of having to close the M20 in the future and also has the potential to improve facilities for lorries across the county in general.

We have been working hard with our partners to identify solutions that offer the most promising benefits, and we are keen to hear what people think about the proposals. I advise anyone who would like to find out more to check out the consultation materials or come and see us at one of the public exhibitions we'll be hosting.

Operation Stack in place on the M20 [Summer 2015] (Public sector photo licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0 [from https://www.gov.uk/government/news/operation-stack-consultation-on-new-lorry-area-launches-today])The proposed sites are both near junction 11 of the M20 near Stanford and can be easily accessed from the motorway. Their location would mean that they could potentially be used to help manage any disruption affecting either the Port of Dover or EuroTunnel services.

The possible uses of the site could range from emergency use only to providing truck stop facilities 24 hours a day.

The consultation asks for views on the suitability of each proposed sites, and on how it should be operated. The consultation materials are available online at https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/management-of-freight-vehicles-through-kent.

Eight public information exhibitions, where people can find out more and have their questions answered by members of the project team, will be held at:

  • Saturday 12 December 2015, 12pm to 6pm & Monday 14 December 2015, 2pm to 8pm: Sellindge Sports and Social Club, 69 Swan Lane, Sellindge, Ashford, Kent TN25 6HB
  • Monday 4 January 2015, 2pm to 8pm & Tuesday 5 January 2015, 2pm to 8pm: Civic Centre, Shepway District Council, Castle Hill Avenue, Folkestone, Kent CT20 2QY
  • Wednesday 6 January 2016 2pm to 8pm: The New Ashford Market, Monument Way Orbital Park, Ashford, Kent TN24 0HB
  • Thursday 7 January 2016, 2pm to 8pm: Dover Town Hall, Maison Dieu Place, Biggin Street, Dover, Kent CT16 1DL
  • Monday 11 January 2016, 2pm to 8pm: Sellindge Sports and Social Club, 69 Swan Lane, Sellindge, Ashford, Kent TN25 6HB
  • Tuesday 12 January 2016, 2pm to 8pm: Hawkinge Community Centre, Hawkinge CT18 7FP

Have your say in our own online poll on the potential locations and level of use of the M20 lorry parks.