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Police in Hampshire said “a massive effort” from haulage operators meant it would be downscaling its A31 HGV triage operation early.

The EU Exit strategy, known as Operation Transmission, involved lorries pulling off the motorway network and getting their papers checked in advance of reaching Portsmouth International Port.

But with eight of the scheduled 12 weeks of the operation passed, police said they would be downscaling it from today (18 February).

The force said key factors in its decision included “consistently strong” border-ready compliance rates among hauliers, which now stand at around 90%.

In addition, volumes of traffic at the port have increased and are at far higher levels than in January.

Neil Odin, chief fire officer and member of Hampshire’s local resilience forum (LRF), said: “We look carefully at the facts and every indicator tells us that things are running smoothly enough to allow us to be proactive and make this important decision to downscale our operation ahead of time.

“Of course, there are still risks as volumes of freight are still volatile but there is a balance to strike and we have listened carefully to hauliers, local people and those who represent them.”

“We planned for the reasonable worst case scenario that we were presented with and I am so proud of everyone, from those at the port to those who worked at the triage points, the staff in our LRF agencies, and the lorry drivers who continue to work hard to get that paperwork right.”

Councillor Rob Humby, deputy leader at Hampshire county council, said: “The government asked the LRF to plan for the possibility of traffic disruption as freight travelled from other parts of the country to the Port of Portsmouth for a short period immediately after the UK left the EU.

“Mitigation measures were put in place, fully funded by the government, and the plan was continually monitored to ensure it delivered what it intended, which was to ensure minimum disruption to the day to day lives of Hampshire residents.”

Hampshire police added that from 18 February, signage on the M3 and other roads would no longer be visible and instead HGVs will be able to travel direct to the port.