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Major disruption on Kent roads due to half term traffic, Operation Brock, Dover TAP and A20 Roundhill Tunnel closure


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There is major disruption on Kent's roads due to a combination of factors as families set off on their half term breaks.

An "exceptionally high number" of people travelling today has made the road network "extremely busy", transport bosses have warned.

Long queues of lorries due to cross-Channel disruption
Long queues of lorries due to cross-Channel disruption

The A20 Roundhill Tunnel near Folkestone was closed coastbound between the M20 and the A260, causing queues as far back as Hawkinge as lorries block access to the roundabout at Canterbury Road.

But shortly before 3.30pm the tunnel reopened, highways bosses confirmed.

However, the main carriageway at J13 remains shut to traffic with vehicles diverted off the motorway on to the exit slip road and back along the other side.

The carriageway closure is said to allow the quick closure of the Roundhill Tunnel should this be required again later in the day.

The closure came as part of Operation TAP, a temporary traffic management system aimed at preventing Dover from becoming congested when Channel crossings are disrupted.

Lorries waiting in queues at the Port of Dover
Lorries waiting in queues at the Port of Dover

Meanwhile, ferry operators at Dover have warned of delays due to problems at the French and UK border checks at the ports on both sides of the Channel.

A spokesman for Irish Ferries said: "Expect queues and possible delays at Border Control.

"Passengers are advised to have their documents in order to assist border control in completing their checks and reduce the queuing time.

"Aim to arrive at the port only for your allotted sailing. Check-in closes 60mins before sailing.

"If you experience delays, we will accommodate you where possible on the next available sailing. Thank you for your patience."

Fellow ferry companies DFDS and P&O made similar announcements to their customers bound for the Port of Dover.

Operation Brock is also in place on the M20, and Dover is said to be "very busy" with around 750 lorries waiting in the queues.

Lane closures are also in force at Brenley Corner, at junction 7 of the M2 at Faversham, to divert EU-bound lorries to join the Brock queues.

This is causing lengthy queues on the coast-bound M2 and the London-bound A2 and A299 heading towards the roundabout.

Drivers are warned to expect continued disruption over the weekend as huge numbers of holidaymakers make their escape - with the majority expected to head for the Channel and across to Europe.

Queues on the coast-bound M2 approaching the Brenley Corner roundabout
Queues on the coast-bound M2 approaching the Brenley Corner roundabout

Large numbers of Liverpool fans are also making their way through Kent en route to their team's game in Paris.

A Department for Transport spokesman said: "An exceptionally high number of people travelling this half-term, compounded by P&O Ferries still not running all of its sailings, means that unfortunately the roads in Kent are extremely busy.

"We strongly recommend passengers check before travelling."

The Kent Resilience Forum says the delays are due to reduced ferry capacity, demand from tourists and football fans, increased Brexit checks and people arriving too early.

A National Highways spokesman said: "Anyone driving in or through Kent should always check their route before travelling, allow plenty of time to get their destination and carry essentials including something to eat, drink, and any regular medication, in case of delays."

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