The building of a huge truck park to ease congestion caused by Operation Stack should “push on at pace” because of the uncertainty caused by Brexit, according to Kent’s transport chief.
Matthew Balfour, the county council’s cabinet member for transport, told colleagues there were no guarantees that HGVs would not be queued up along the motorways and roads, given the upheaval caused by withdrawing from the EU.
He spoke after a decision was made to postpone a court hearing into the plans to build a 3,600-space truck park at Stanford West, due in part to the general election.
Balfour said the adjournment allowed the administration time to “take a view” on the idea and the DfT had advised that a judicial review will not take place before October.
Responding to a question from a local councillor that the county council should also consider the plans, because Stack had not been implemented for almost two years, Balfour said: “We’re going into a period of doubt as to our relationship with the continent.
"I have no guarantees that we’re not going to have problems with HGVs backing up across our roads again, so we should push on at pace – if such a thing exists in Highways England - and we should continue with this proposal.”
He added: “Kent County Council, working with Shepway District Council, continues to urge the DfT and Highways England to work at pace to deliver a solution to Operation Stack.”
The FTA said it was “extremely frustrating” that construction had been delayed and the busier cross-channel freight traffic became, the increase in likelihood Stack would be used again.
Local protesters were granted a judicial review of the scheme in March, with the snap general election then delaying this further.