Up to a dozen customs controls posts offering parking to tens of thousands of trucks are to be built across the country, with at least five earmarked for Kent, in preparation for the UK’s exit from the UK.

However, the RHA warned this week that UK ports will still be in danger of becoming gridlocked when the UK exits the EU unless the government addresses the major shortage of UK customs intermediaries.

The “10 to 12” customs posts are part of a £470m programme to provide facilities to process freight to and from the EU, which were announced by Michael Gove, chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, yesterday (13 July), along with a 206-page document detailing new border controls.

Five sites are expected to be in Kent with the government aiming to have them operational by 1 January 2021. This includes a site announced last week outside Ashford, which will provide parking for up to 10,000 trucks.

The sites are expected to handle up to 400m customs declarations a year.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Gove said the government is still in confidential “commercial negotiations” for the Brexit border facilities, which includes a 27-acre site on the outskirts of Ashford.

Gove declined to reveal the location of the sites as MPs raised concerns about the lack of consultation and possible noise, air and water pollution.

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Damian Green, the Conservative MP for Ashford, has made clear his opposition to the Ashford customs site which was confirmed last week.

He asked Gove “what environmental impact assessment has been done” for the proposed site in his constituency as it was next to planned housing and the local hospital.

While hauliers welcomed news of plans for additional lorry parking facilities, RHA chief executive, Richard Burnett raised concerns that the government has not put in place the necessary infrastructure to ensure there will not be gridlock at the ports.

In a statement, the RHA said the government’s latest Brexit campaign, dubbed 'The UK's new start: let's get going', which launched this week, “fails to address the magnitude of what is needed to manage customs complexities as businesses race to ensure their ‘border readiness’ ahead of post-transition trading”.

Burnett added: “This campaign will prepare Britain for the "significant opportunities" of Brexit. But I am completely at a loss to understand how this framework can be achieved by 1 January 2021.

“UK businesses will have to employ the services of 50,000 customs intermediaries to handle the complex new processes allowing them to move goods across borders. The recruitment of this team alone will be a long process as will their necessary training.

“Time is running out and it’s still not clear if there will be the sufficient support needed to keep the cross-border supply chains moving.

“There remains a vast amount of work to be done and the timescales are extremely short.”