Operation Brock on the M20 has been reinstated ahead of what the Kent Resilience Forum (KRF) said promised to be a very busy summer getaway.
With the highest passenger numbers since before the pandemic booked to cross the channel in July and August on ferries from Dover and trains through Le Shuttle, the contraflow system at the heart of the Brock traffic management scheme will be rolled out between junctions 8 and 9.
The KRF said it should reduce the impact of disruption by directing HGVs heading for mainland Europe onto the motorway’s coastbound carriageway, where they can be held, if necessary, while all other traffic can continue on its journey in both directions.
The installation of Brock means lorries heading to the continent are legally required to follow the signed HGV routes to the Port of Dover and Le Shuttle.
The need for Brock to be in place will be regularly reviewed by the KRF throughout the summer, and removed as soon as the potential risk of disruption has passed.
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Simon Jones, KRF strategic planning lead, said: “The decision to deploy Operation Brock is never taken lightly and is based on data and intelligence that clearly shows there is a potential risk of disruption on routes to the Port of Dover and Le Shuttle.
“Kent’s Short Straits gateways provide a critical national role for international trade and tourism as the shortest crossing to mainland Europe for lorries and holidaymakers,” he said.
“Both Port of Dover and Le Shuttle are reporting high booking numbers through July and August, with an increase in tourist traffic from the weekend of 15/16 July, as tens of thousands of passengers will set off to Europe during the school holiday season.
“When we also take into consideration everyday freight and local traffic, combined with high numbers of tourists heading to our beaches and attractions, we know how busy the roads in Kent will be.
“Brock is there to ease congestion and to make sure that we can manage freight bound for Europe, therefore protecting the local road network, and allowing people to reach their destination and go about their business with the minimum disruption possible.”
Jones added: “As strategic lead for the KRF, I am absolutely committed to keeping the deployment of the barrier under constant review over the coming weeks and removing it as soon as possible.”