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M20 barrier between Ashford and Maidstone to be dismantled from tonight as Operation Brock is stood down

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It's the beginning of the end for the dreaded £30 million contra-flow system on the M20 as work begins today to remove the much-loathed steel barrier.

Eleven long months have passed since it was first introduced between Ashford and Maidstone along with the 50mph restriction – but in 16 days time, it will at last be fully gone.

KMTV report as work begins to remove Operation Brock from M20

The barrier, which has infuriated drivers, was installed as part of the Operation Brock no-deal Brexit preparations.

But it has been deemed no longer necessary to continue with the two-lane restriction as the uncertainty over whether Brexit will happen has seemingly gone.

The dismantling work will involve the M20 being closed tonight between junctions 9 and 7 from 10pm to 6am.

The same overnight closure will then be enforced for the next fortnight

Natalie Chapman, Freight Transport Association head of policy for the south of England, says the doom and gloom is almost over.

"It's welcome news for everyone who lives and works in the county," she said.

"There will be a little pain before the M20 gets fully back to normal as we'll see some overnight closures.

"But the pain is going to be well worth it."

Highways England had originally anticipated Brock would be deployed for up to six months.

Without taking into account the dismantling costs, Brock has so far cost the taxpayer £35 million.

Listen to KentOnline's daily news podcast to hear more about the removal of the M20 barrier.

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