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