The lifting of lockdown restrictions has triggered the next deployment of the moveable barrier system on the M20 in Kent in preparation for increased passenger numbers.
Operation Brock is part of a series of measures to improve Kent’s resilience in the event of disruption to services across the English Channel.
Highways England says this is a precautionary measure taken by the government and Kent Resilience Forum partners in anticipation of increased international travel by car drivers from Monday as a result of the lifting of restrictions, and comes in despite people returning from France facing the need to quarantine even if they’re double-jabbed.
As with previous deployments, Operation Brock will keep the M20 open in both directions by using a contraflow road layout on the M20 London-bound carriageway between junctions 8 and 9 (from Maidstone to Ashford) and directing lorries heading for mainland Europe onto the coastbound carriageway, where they can be queued if necessary.
Nicola Bell, Highways England Regional Director, said, “The lifting of the lockdown restrictions will inevitably mean more travel across to France from 19 July and, we, along with our Kent Resilience Forum partners, have taken the decision to reinstall the moveable barrier on the M20 to prepare for this. We know that some people won’t welcome its return, but we need to be prepared for an increase in not only HGVs but also in passenger traffic. We feel it is the right decision to redeploy the barrier in case it is needed to keep Kent moving should levels of HGVs and cars heading to the border be high. The deployment of the barrier on the M20 will of course be kept under constant review and we will remove it as soon as we can.”
(Picture – Highways England)