Stanford West has been chosen as the site for the new Operation Stack lorry park, the Secretary of State for Transport announced today.
It’s great to see that the Government is getting on with the job and building a long-term solution to Operation Stack. We can’t have a repeat of the chaos of last summer, so it’s vital we press ahead with this important project.
The lorry park, to the west of the M20 at Junction 11, will have space for 3,600 lorries and will help keep the M20 moving when there is disruption at the channel crossings. Construction will begin as soon as possible, with the first spaces available by 2017. You can read more here.
The announcement comes after a public consultation over the location of the lorry park, during which I urged Highways England to minimise the impact on the Kent Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. You can read my response to the consultation here.
Following the consultation, an alternative site to the north of Junction 11 was rejected because it was too close to the AONB.
I’ve always been clear that Kent needs a lorry park as soon as possible but not at the expense of the countryside, so I’m pleased the Stanford West site has been chosen.
I hope this lorry park can also help solve the wider problem of HGVs parking illegally across Kent and I will be urging the Department of Transport and Highways England to make sure it does.
Despite all the uncertainty surrounding the result of the EU referendum, I’m still working hard and putting Kent first, and I’m glad the Government is too.