Pressure is being placed on the government to settle out of court a forthcoming judicial review into a lorry park to replace Operation Stack in Kent.

Former Chancellor George Osborne pledged £250m to build a holding area for lorries at Stanford West in 2015, but campaigners opposed the plans and launched a judicial review against the decision.

Court proceedings are due to start on 6 December, but Folkestone and Hythe MP Damian Collins said a settlement needed to be reached to speed up construction.

Collins said: “If we want the country to be ready for Brexit on day one, that includes being ready with the infrastructure in place to support it.

“If there were customs delays, it is possible that Operation Stack would once again become a frequent and unwelcome visitor to the county, causing massive congestion and making life intolerable for residents and businesses.

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“It is therefore even more important that the investment that the government promised two years ago to deliver the Operation Stack relief lorry park is proceeded with at pace.”

In a debate on the issue, Transport Minister John Hayes refused to confirm whether he would attempt to speed up the process, however he added:

“I take the view… that we need to look at other sites in Kent, too. There is certainly space for incremental growth at a number of the existing sites in Kent and beyond.”

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