Better roads to keep Kent moving

Traffic on some of our roads - particularly at Brenley Corner - is out of control. With 1000s of new houses being built it will only get worse. The consequences of inadequate infrastructure were powerfully demonstrated in Summer 2015 when Operation Stack caused total chaos. That's why I'm campaigning for improvements to Kent's roads.

My aims

  • Tackle traffic at Brenley Corner    
  • Stop the closure of the M20 under Operation Stack
  • Upgrade Kent's roads with investment from central Government

 

Background

Traffic isn't just annoying, it's holding Kent back. Our economy can't grow unless our infrastructure is up-to-scratch. 

The Government is investing £15.2 billion in roads over the next five years, and I want to make sure Kent gets its fair share. In particular I want to see improvements to the roundabout Brenley Corner, which has been left almost completely unchanged since it was built more than 50 years ago.

With 1000s of new houses planned for our area, pressure on the road network is only going to increase. It's vital that infrastructure keeps pace with development. Given that the vast majority of UK freight passes through Kent, this is a national problem not just a local one.

That was powerfully demonstrated in summer of 2015, when Kent ground to a halt as a result of Operation Stack. For 32 days 5,000 Lorries were parked on the M20 because of disruption in Calais. This caused chaos and misery for my constituents.

Journeys that usually took 5 or 10 minutes took hours, people couldn’t get to work or to important appointments, operations were delayed because hospital staff couldn’t get to work, teachers struggled to get to school and businesses couldn’t transport their goods. One ten-year-old girl had to wait an hour and a half for an ambulance after falling off a climbing frame.

Operation Stack is used by the police to manage freight traffic when there are delays crossing the channel. It involves closing the M20 between Junctions 8 and 9, sometimes for several days, and queuing thousands of lorries.

This problem is only going to get worse as the economy grows and freight traffic increases. So Operation Stack is not sustainable; we need a long-term solution.

That means finding off-road areas for lorries to park and improving Kent’s road infrastructure so it’s better able to cope with disruptions. This includes upgrading the M20, M2 and A2.

I’m making sure this stays at the top of the Government’s agenda. My number one priority is keeping Kent moving.

News

How to fix Operation Stack?

It is unacceptable for Kent’s roads to be paralysed, so I am pleased that Highways England are exploring alternatives to Operation Stack. I wrote to Highways England saying that any solution to Operation Stack – whether on-road or off-road – must allow the free flow of traffic without delays.

Get roads ready for Brexit day

It’s completely unacceptable for Kent’s roads to be brought to a standstill, so I was very worried to read that the temporary solution to Operation Stack could be delayed.

Finish resurfacing Brenley Corner!

It's great that Brenley Corner has been resurfaced and so many of the dreadful potholes fixed - but the job is one half done! I wrote to Highways England asking why, and received this reply, saying that it is due to "a delay with design planning".

Preparing for Brexit at the border

With 5,000 lorries arriving in Kent every day from mainland Europe, and another 5,000 leaving, delays at the border will quickly lead to queues forming on both sides of the channel. It’s in the EU’s interest to avoid that, just as it’s in ours – but in any event, we need to be prepared.

No going back to the Summer of Stack

Do you remember the Summer of Stack? For 32 days in 2015 Kent ground to a halt, with Operation Stack turning the M20 turned into a giant lorry park because of disruption at the Channel crossings.

Operation Stack: M20 MUST stay open

As we saw two summers ago, closing the M20 during Operation Stack has a terrible impact on Kent, with roads brought to a standstill, businesses unable to function and patients delayed getting to hospital.

Do we need a Leeds-Langley Relief Road?

Driving down Willington Street you can’t help but notice it’s peppered with WILLact signs calling for a Leeds-Langley relief road. Every household I canvassed in South Maidstone and nearby villages during the election supported a new road too.