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Dover and Deal MP Natalie Elphicke calls on government to do more about lack of lorry parks in Kent head of Brexit

A Kent MP has called on the government to address concerns that long-standing plans for lorry parks in the county are in limbo.

The Dover and Deal MP Natalie Elphicke, raised the issue in the Commons with the leader of the House Jacob Rees-Mogg, saying the road network in east Kent needs urgent improvement.

Natalie Elphicke MP is calling on the government to address concerns long-standing plans for lorry parks are in limbo
Natalie Elphicke MP is calling on the government to address concerns long-standing plans for lorry parks are in limbo

"It is welcome news the Operation Brock contraflow on the M20 is being dismantled, as we are getting Brexit done.

"However, the dualling of the A2 needs to be completed and the Whitfield roundabout is so overloaded that villagers are up in arms.

"The lorries travelling through our port are the beating heart of our national economy, yet the lorry parks that were promised long ago are yet to be delivered."

The MP said a debate was needed because the issue of lorry parks and improvements to the road network was "not simply a matter of concern for the people of east Kent, but for the beating economic heart of the nation as a whole".

Highways England this week began dismantling Operation Brock - the contraflow along the M20 between Ashford and Maidstone on the London-bound carriageway.

The removal of Operation Brock barriers on M20 started earlier this week. Picture: Andy Jones
The removal of Operation Brock barriers on M20 started earlier this week. Picture: Andy Jones

However, it has renewed concerns there has been no progress on plans for a permanent lorry park - or series of parks - since the government announced in 2015 that it was earmarking £250m for a scheme.

Plans for a site off the M20 at Stanford near Folkestone were dropped in the face of a legal challenge from protesters.

That led to a fresh consultation on possible alternative sites in 2018, but Highways England has not set out any options.

Meanwhile, transport chiefs say they could revert to using Operation Stack to manage disruption on the M20 - but only as a last resort.

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