Operation Stack causes chaos and misery for people in Kent so I’m pleased that Highways England are getting a grip. It was announced today that new plans for ‘Operation Stack’ will allow traffic to travel in both directions between junctions 8 and 9 while lorries are being queued for the Port of Dover and Eurotunnel.
That means drivers can access these junctions, rather than being diverted onto smaller local roads.
This will be made possible using a contraflow on the northbound carriageway, which will be available for use by early 2019, if there is ever disruption to cross-Channel traffic and lorries have to be queued.
This is a contingency – I hope it never has to be used – but I’m glad we’re on the front foot and prepared in case of disruption at the Channel.
The Department for Transport is also setting out plans to improve overnight lorry parking, so that fewer lorries will be left on local roads or parked in lay-bys overnight. I’m pleased to see Highways England have recognised this isn't just Kent’s problem, it’s a national problem. They have identified locations across the country for 1,500 potential new lorry parking spaces as well as supporting enforcement.
Both on Operation Stack and Lorry Fly Parking, Kent’s concerns have been listened too and this is a positive response.