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National Highways denies traffic cameras showing M20 lorry queues were deliberately switched off

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Traffic cameras showing miles of queues of lorries on the M20 were not deliberately switched off, says National Highways.

The images of HGVs at Folkestone – queued up due to Dover TAP being in force – were not showing on the agency's trafficengland.com site earlier this week.

The absence of the pictures led some Twitter users to believe a decision had been taken to turn them off.

Graham Hughes tweeted saying: "THIS IS INSANE... 17km #Brexit lorry queue on the M20, but the govt have seemingly turned off the traffic cameras so you can't see it!!"

His tweet was shared by actor David Schneider, who has almost 550,000 followers. He added: "If you want to know how the sunlit uplands are looking they’re literally turning off cameras on the M20 so people can’t see the damage."

Simon Thomson tweeted: "It’s just pure coincidence that the none of the traffic cameras which show junction 11 on the M20 are working, while there are miles and miles of lorry queues into Dover, isn’t it. Isn’t it?"

In response, National Highways admitted there had been a problem with some cameras – but denied they had been out of action on purpose.

Dover TAP has been used when required since 2015. Picture: UKNIP
Dover TAP has been used when required since 2015. Picture: UKNIP

A spokesman told KentOnline: "I can assure you the cameras were not switched off deliberately.

"National Highways operates a 24/7 service. The cameras tell operators based in the region how traffic is performing so that we can deploy traffic officers to help road users needing our help."

A Tweet from National Highways South-East, replying to Mr Thomson, also clarified the position.

It said: "No cameras have been turned off. There are a couple of defective ones we are awaiting parts or replacements of and 1 was taken down as the pole it was mounted on was unsafe."

Further clarification has been provided by Darrel Bryant, National Highways operations manager, who said: "We are aware of speculation that some traffic cameras were switched off on the M20, M2, A20 and A2 on Thursday night.

"No cameras were switched off. However, one of the cameras was faulty but has now been repaired. All cameras are now operating as normal."

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