Published: 12:29, 11 June 2018
| Updated: 20:51, 11 June 2018
Lorry parks to cope with Operation Stack could also double up as locations to carry out customs checks.
Highways England has formally launched a public consultation to collect views on a range of options to deal with Operation Stack on a permanent basis.
It says it wants to hear what businesses, residents and others think is the best way of dealing with the congestion, disruption and delays triggered when lorries have to be held on the M20.
Scroll down for video
Those views will be incorporated into a formal consultation on any scheme subsequently put forward. It is expected that any solution will involve both lorry parks and controls on the M20.
But it has emerged that Highways England is to consider whether, if lorry parks form part of any solution, they could “include additional border control facilities, should these be required after the UK leaves the European Union.”
Concerns have been expressed that if no arrangements are in place for customs checks ahead of Brexit, there could be lengthy delays on both sides of the channel, with checks needed on individual lorries.
Research has suggested that just an extra two minutes more on each HGV could lead to 20-mile-long queues along the M20.
John Kerner, who is leading the project to find a permanent solution to Operation Stack, said Highways England would take a ‘completely fresh look’ at what a permanent solution to Operation Stack could look like.
“From a Highways England perspective, this is about making sure UK and the regional supply chain and haulage businesses can trade effectively" - John Kerner
“We have been asked to look into a whole range of different areas by the Department for Transport. On one side is Operation Stack and then we have been asked to see where we can help with ‘flyparking’ in Kent.”
“From a Highways England perspective, this is about making sure UK and the regional supply chain and haulage businesses can trade effectively.”
Highways England has arranged a series of public meetings over five weeks across the county to gather views.
It has already set out interim plans to deal with Operation Stack ahead of Brexit, which involves a contra-flow along the London-bound stretch of the M20 to keep traffic moving and allow local traffic access.
Full details of the consultation on a permanent solution for Operation Stack can be found at Highways England's site.
Every morning at 10am we play you an hour of tunes from the 90s. We call it, #WeLoveThe90s.
Play 'Say It' with Garry and Laura on kmfm Breakfast and you could win £1,000!
Wake up to kmfm Breakfast with Garry and Laura - it's Kent's alarm call.