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Operation Brock deactivation decision won't be made immediately despite Brexit extension

A decision on deactivating Operation Brock will not be taken immediately despite the EU confirming a three-month extension to the Brexit deadline.

Highways England said any decision would be taken with other organisations and even if it was agreed to lift the restrictions along the M20, the work would have to be scheduled at a time when it would cause less disruption.

Not everyone seemed to have got the memo about the lorry-specific lane this morning Picture: Barry Goodwin
Not everyone seemed to have got the memo about the lorry-specific lane this morning Picture: Barry Goodwin

The traffic management scheme came into effect this morning, with a contraflow along the M20 between Ashford and Maidstone in both directions, together with a 50mph speed limit, leaving the coastbound stretch for lorries.

It was put in place because of the expected Brexit deadline of October 31 but as that is no longer relevant, road chiefs will come under pressure to lift the restrictions.

A spokesman for Highways England said: “We are in constant contact with our partners and we do not want to have Brock in place any longer than it is needed and will be reviewing. When any decision is taken, it will need to be done when it causes less disruption. But we do know how sensitive the issue of the M20 is.”

In a statement, it said: "We are keeping the deployment of Operation Brock continually under review and are ready to stand it down if it will not be needed. Any decision to de-activate Operation Brock will be taken jointly, and we are in constant contact with the Government and our partners in Kent."

The implementation of the restrictions takes around 48 hours preparation and involves complex arrangements to cone off sections of the motorway to create the contraflow.

Questions were raised last week about the need for the scheme to be in place, with the leader of Maidstone council Cllr Martin Cox saying it would frustrate motorists.

There were long delays on the M20 this morning as work to prepare for the operation overran.

Roadworks, between junctions 7 and 9, were supposed to be lifted at 6am – but they weren't until about 7.45am.

KMTV report on Operation Brock

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