The The Kent Resilience Forum has confirmed that the Operation Brock contraflow system on the M20 in Kent will be deployed from Sunday 21 May 2023 ahead of the Spring bank holiday and expected high passenger numbers.
Operation Brock is part of a series of measures to improve Kent’s resilience and ensure the smooth flow of traffic through the region in the event of disruption to services across the English Channel.
To ensure safe deployment of the contraflow system, the M20 will be closed from 9pm Thursday 18 May to 6am Friday 19 May on the London bound carriageway between junction 9 and junction 8 and
from 8pm Saturday 20 May to 6am Sunday 21 Mayon the London bound carriageway between junction 9 and junction 8, and the coast bound carriageway between junction 7 and junction 9.
Fully signed diversion routes will be place while the M20 is closed overnight.
When the M20 reopens at 6am on Sunday 21 May, the Operation Brock contraflow will be in place and all signs and signals should be followed.
National Highways says these times have been chosen to minimise disruption to road users.
Once the barrier is in place, all HGVs heading for the Port of Dover or Eurotunnel must follow the signs to join Operation Brock at M20 junction 8.
Any EU-bound HGVs not complying with signage and trying to use another route to Eurotunnel or the Port of Dover risk a fine of £300. They will also be sent to the back of the queue by Police or enforcement agents, wasting time, fuel, and money. This includes trying to bypass the M20 by using the M2/A2 at Brenley Corner.
All other coast bound traffic – including local freight and car drivers heading for the continent – should follow the signs and cross over to enter the contraflow on the M20 London bound carriageway.
Sean Martell, National Highways Head of Service Delivery, said: “Ensuring the smooth flow of traffic through Kent is a top priority and we, along with our fellow Kent Resilience Forum partners, have taken the joint decision to activate the Operation Brock contraflow from the morning of Sunday 21 May.
“While we understand this won’t be welcome news for some, the decision was made taking several factors into consideration, including expected high passenger numbers, particularly coaches. The crucial thing about the contraflow system is that it keeps Kent open and traffic moving in all but the most extreme circumstances.”
As a member of the Kent Resilience Forum (KRF), National Highways is working in partnership with other bodies across Kent with the aim to keep the roads moving and minimise disruption to local residents, businesses and communities. The KRF will regularly review if the Operation Brock barrier is still required.
(Picture – Kent Resilience Forum)