Brexit channel ports

The chronic lack of lorry parking sites in Kent has been raised in the House of Commons by an MP who urged the government to deliver on what it promised “long ago”.

Dover MP Natalie Elphicke said lorries travelling through the port were the “beating heart of our national economy” and yet there were not enough truckstops to cater for the demand.

She added that “making time for such a debate is not simply a matter of concern for the people of east Kent, but for the beating economic heart of the nation as a whole.”

In 2017, the government pulled the plug on a planned lorry park in Stanford West, selected as a solution to Operation Stack, after it conceded it would not win a judicial review into the plans.

Since then, no alternative sites or solutions to the parking issue have been suggested.

Elphicke’s comments came as work to dismantle the Operation Brock contraflow on the M20 continued, enabling three full widths of the motorway at the national speed limit to be restored.

Read more

Highways England (HE) said the move reflected the decreased risk of disruption to cross-channel services in the coming months.

Under Brock, one carriageway was reserved for HGVs heading to Dover, with all other traffic restricted to a contraflow system on the opposite side.

An HE spokesman said: “After discussions with the government and our partners in the Kent Resilience Forum, we can confirm that the steel barrier on the M20 barrier will now be removed.

“It takes four weeks to put out and another four weeks to remove, and a high level of confidence was needed that there is no disruption expected in the coming months before we could remove the barrier completely.”

In an additional statement, HE said that when the barrier was removed, it would not be possible to quickly install a contraflow again.

The statement added: “The contraflow on the M20 can only be used when the steel barrier is in place for safety reasons.

“Operation Brock can be utilised again, but we will need to reinstall the barrier. Without the barrier, Operation Stack will be the only option.”

• The RHA has written to the prime minister urging him to ensure trucks continue to move freely between the UK and EU after Brexit. The trade association is proposing a ‘market access agreement’ to allow UK hauliers to continue travelling to, through and from EU states without having to apply for permits. In the letter to Boris Johnson, RHA chief executive Richard Burnett warned that failing to meet the needs of haulage “will result in significant disruption across major parts of both UK and EU economies".