The Operation Brock contraflow system on the M20 in Kent will be deployed from Friday 14 July 2023 ahead of the summer holidays and expected high passenger numbers, the Kent Resilience Forum confirmed.
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.
Fully signed diversion routes will be place while the M20 is closed overnight. These times have been chosen to minimise disruption to road users.
When the M20 reopens at 6am on Friday 14 July, the Operation Brock contraflow will be in place and all signs and signals should be followed.
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 ahead of the summer holidays.
“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. The crucial thing about the contraflow system is that it keeps Kent open and traffic moving in all but the most extreme circumstances.”
Anyone planning to use Eurotunnel and the Port of Dover are advised to plan their journeys and check with the travel operator before setting out. They should also allow more time for their journeys and make sure they are prepared for delays, so should have plenty of fuel, warm clothes, and supplies such as food and drink. The contraflow is expected to be in place for two weeks.
As a member of the Kent Resilience Forum (KRF), National Highways is working in partnership with other bodies across Kent 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.