All truck drivers will require a permit to gain access to Kent under new government plans to deal with potential post-Brexit congestion challenges by creating an ‘internal border.’
The new Kent Access Permit (KAP) system could be enforced by police or the use of cameras monitoring the number plates of vehicles entering the county at points such as the Dartford Crossing.
Speaking in the House of Commons, Cabinet Minister Michael Gove said the permits could help avoid queues of up to 7,000 trucks seeking to cross the English Channel after the UK leaves the single market and customs union at the end of the year.
Having no plans in place could result in up approximately 70% of trucks turned away, with thousands of goods vehicles waiting up to 48 hours to reach Dover as a result of the chaos.
Mr Gove said the ‘smart freight’ system was aimed at avoiding that level of congestion. “That system has been developed, it’s being shared with business and we want to make sure that people use a relatively simple process in order to get what will become known as a Kent Access Permit, which means that they can then proceed smoothly through Kent because they do have the material required.”
Policing the scheme would be done via ANPR cameras and ‘other means’, according to the Government.
In the UK, drivers of lorries weighing more than 7.5 tonnes will need to apply for the permits online and show that they have all the paperwork they need to ferry goods to Europe.