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Kent could be hit by "massive disruption" if Stanford lorry park bigger than Disneyland is not built, MP warns

By Paul Francis

A Kent MP has urged the government to reach a settlement with residents and businesses who live near the planned site of a huge lorry park off the M20 at Folkestone.

The Folkestone and Hythe MP Damian Collins said the government should seek an agreement before a Judicial Review into the lorry park plan went ahead in December.

He said compensation should be paid to allow residents to get on with their lives and work on the park to get underway.

The M20 lorry park site to ease Operation Stack traffic, near Stanford

The Department of Transport is facing a legal challenge over the controversial park, which could hold up to 3600 HGVs and is designed to stop the implementation of Operation Stack, which closes stretches of the M20 if there are difficulties crossing the channel.

The MP warned in a debate at Westminster hat unless the government acted quickly, Operation Stack might become “a frequent and unwelcome visitor” and result in huge delays and disruption in the county.

"I believe that if there are customs delays, then Operation Stack will become a frequent and unwelcome visitor to the county causing massive disruption" - Damian Collins

“I believe that as the government prepares its negotiations for leaving the EU, the investment in this sort of infrastructure is more important than ever. “

“We cannot say what the future will hold in terms of frictionless trade but it is possible that it will cause delays.”

“Any time delays in processing freight in and out of the country will cause massive traffic disruption in Kent. We want the country to be ready for Brexit on Day One.”

“I believe that if there are customs delays, then Operation Stack will become a frequent and unwelcome visitor to the county causing massive disruption. It is even more important that with the investment the government promised two years ago, the lorry park proceeds at pace.”

The MP Is the latest to make an intervention in the issue, following in the footsteps of a number of other Kent MPs who have expressed concern about the impact of Brexit on the county.

The Dover MP Charlie Elphicke yesterday urged the government to set aside a £1 billion fund to mitigate any impact of the UK leaving the EU without a deal.

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