Moves by ministers from across central government to tackle the travel disruption experienced in Kent have been welcomed by Kent County Council Leader Roger Gough.
The Cabinet Office has reported that ministers and senior officials are prioritising minimising the impact of traffic issues across the UK, notably the ongoing rail and underground strikes, flight cancellations and preventing long queues for passengers crossing to Europe, which have the devastating knock-on impact on the communities of Kent.
It says UK and French officials and ministers have had regular discussions this week and a new UK-French Passenger Technical Working Group has been established. This group will meet weekly throughout the summer to avoid any further disruption for passengers travelling to either side of the Channel.
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Lead Minister for Resilience Kit Malthouse said: “We continue to work with the Port of Dover, Eurotunnel, and the French Government, National Highways, local police and the Kent Resilience Forum on minimising traffic disruption, and we will continue to take all the necessary steps to help people travel easily.”
Kent County Council Leader Roger Gough said: “We continue to work with government on both the immediate pressures and the longer-term solutions.
“The delays at the portals and disruption on the county’s road network have for too long been regarded as purely a Kent problem; we have always argued that this is a national scale problem, with implications for Kent but also for the national economy and the country as a whole.
“This challenge requires strategic thinking across a number of departments at government level. It is not just a highways network issue, it is about new thinking around the handling and processing of freight and tourist traffic as well as solutions that remove parked lorries from our motorways, whether that be in or outside of Kent.”
(Picture – National Highways)