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Operation Brock to be kept as option for M20, between Ashford and Maidstone, and not permanently scrapped


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Operation Brock is to become a permanent option instead of being removed for good this October.

The Department for Transport confirmed this evening that its sunset clauses (expiry time) has been removed.

Operation Brock on the M20 at Junction 9 earlier this year Picture: Barry Goodwin
Operation Brock on the M20 at Junction 9 earlier this year Picture: Barry Goodwin

This means that it can be installed on the M20 if there is any further disruption on the port-bound corridor.

But a DfT spokesman stressed: “Operation Brock measures will remain temporary and will only be used when there is a significant risk of delays.

“It was originally created to deal with disruption caused by EU Exit and in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

"Removing the sunset clauses from Operation Brock will mean the Kent Resilience Forum (KRF) is better prepared to respond to any type of traffic disruption in the area, not solely related to EU Exit, including strikes and severe weather.”

The traffic management system is a contraflow, with narrowed lanes and a 50mph speed limit between Ashford and Maidstone.

Lorries and cars stuck fast in Dover during the French border closure last December. Picture: Sam Lennon
Lorries and cars stuck fast in Dover during the French border closure last December. Picture: Sam Lennon

It was last introduced for two weeks on July 18 in anticipation of increased international travel as a result of Covid restrictions lifting.

Its initial life was set to end in December 2020 but was extended to allow for feared traffic chaos after the UK completely left the European Union, following a transition period.

Recently it was also needed when roads to Dover ended up gridlocked just before Christmas when the French closed their borders to stop a new strain of coronavirus getting into the country.

The DfT explained that although Operation Brock may temporarily affect Kent roads with reduced speeds, the measures minimise disruption to lorry drivers going abroad as well as other road users.

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